Fish for the morning

Tokyo Travel Blog

 › entry 51 of 52 › view all entries
I am not going to bed - I have just gotten our of my bed - this is the first metro in the morning.

I wake up - I am not sure what to call this time of the day. Is it morning or night? One thing is for sure I am generally much more likely to be going to bed at this hour than getting out of bed. I somehow manage to get dress and make my way down to the metro station. I get there just in time for the first metro arriving - it get there at 5.10. I go a few stops with this line and then change to a different line to get to where I want to go - the Tsukiji fish market. It is the biggest fish market in the city, the country and the world for that matter. And the action is best before six in the morning. That’s the bonus you get if you can actually torture yourself enough to get out of bed in the middle of the night.


The market is really busy and you need to take care when walking around the area.

All over the place there are small motorized carts rushing around. It all looks very chaotic without any sort of direction -but it must all be highly organized otherwise this place would break down in a matter of minutes. I am searching for the room where they hold the daily actions of the fish. It is a bit difficult to find at first but then I get to the end of the market area and I can walk into the auction room. There are a lot of people in there to bid at the fish. They walk around and look at the individual fish for a while and then the man with the bell stands in the middle of it all and ring his bell - and the bidding begins. It take a while and then it is all over and they start to put small markers at the individual fish to indicate who bought which fish. We are all asked to leave the room now and I walk out the back passing by the tuna fish area where photo are not allowed for some reason.


I walk back into the main retail sales area where you can walk in and buy your fish for the day. I am not really buying so I just wander around the place to look at the big fish being cut up into smaller pieces and the smaller fish. There are all sorts of fish - including many I have never seen before.

At one shop I see some crabs where one of them try to make a run for it and get back to the ocean - I doubt it will succeed though.


I am walking out of the market and I head to the imperial castle and garden. I can’t get into the imperial castle but the garden is open for all. Unfortunately it is not opening for another ½ hour so I walk away and try to find a place for breakfast.


I go back to the garden and walk into it. It is feeling a bit strange to be here. Outside the park area are this extremely crowded and busy city - but inside the park it is peaceful and quite. I walk around the park watching the small lakes with the bridges across and the flowers growing in an orderly fashion - it is Japan after all. Inside the park are a few buildings. One of the more interesting buildings is a huge guard’s pavilion where the samurais used to stay guarding the emperor. There are a few tea pavilions as well for the imperial family’s entertainment in the old days.


I am a bit tired after the early start and need to figure out what to do for the rest of the day. I guess I should do some sort of sightseeing but I am not really up for. So instead I go for a compromise - I go to the Sapporo brewery museum in Tokyo. I go there and have a quick look around - the exhibition is in Japanese only - just like it was in Sapporo. But to be honest I go to a museum were just a bad excuse to get here - I wanted to go to the bar in the museum to go for the tasting of the produce of the company. The cheapest beers you will be able to get in Tokyo. I start the tasting which takes a bit of time.


The beers actually make me feel more awake. So I feel like continuing my sightseeing and I take the metro to a big park the Yoyogi-koen and walks around the area for a while - it seems like a place people go from all over town to go for a picnic and relax.

There are actually some a couple getting married in the park or at least having their wedding reception out in the open.


I go out of the park to one of the main shrines which are just next to it - the Meiji-junga. It is not a super old shrine but finish in 1920 in memory of the old emperor Meiji who actually gave the name to the Meiji restoration which marked the modernization of Japan. Unfortunately the shrine burned down during the war - hence the current shrines are recreations from the 1958. Out in the park around the shrine are a lot of wine barrels with old wine which has been donated to the shrine during the ages. It is a quite impressive display of famous wines - with barrels from many of the finest vineyards in Burgundy. Some of the barrels are grand cru wines which will easily be sold for 4-500$ per bottle but here they are just on display - so I can’t help but wonder if there are actually wine in the barrels or if it is just empty barrels in the park.

Trying to run away
I sure would like them if they were full.


It is starting to be a bit late and it is time to get back towards Shinjuku area to have dinner. I get back to the Shinjuku station and once again I manage to get lost at this area. I find my way and I decide to do a bit of wondering around before I head out to get something to eat. I wonder off into an area with small streets - I get to a temple which apparently is the preferred temple for the ladies of the night. But there don’t seem to be any around when I actually pass by.


After dinner I go to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office building. It is one of the tallest buildings in the Shinjuku area and there is actually free access to the viewing tower at the 45 floor. So I go in and considering the view is for free the queen is extraordinarily short. I go up there and have a look out at Tokyo city by night - or at least the nearby neighborhood.


I decide to take a quick look around the entertainment district down in Roppongi. There are a flood of light and lots of Africans all having a special offer of attractive ladies just for you. The fact I got up before five this morning starts to have an effect on me and I am not really enjoying these people pushing the merchandise so I decide it is time to call it the night.

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I am not going to bed - I have jus…
I am not going to bed - I have ju…
Trying to run away
Trying to run away
Man with the bell
Man with the bell
5,091 km (3,163 miles) traveled
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photo by: maka77