Christ the Redeemer and Sushi in Rio?

Rio de Janeiro Travel Blog

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View of Corcovado from the tram below.
Today we went to go see the iconic giant Christ the Redeemer statue that towers over Rio. It was recently voted one of the "New Seven Wonders of the World" -- I'm not sure what that means, or what kind of publicity organization compiled this list, but apparently it was a big deal in Rio and the local government put out ads for everyone in Rio to vote in the contest.  And while the statue itself is interesting to look at, far more impressive are the views of the city that you can view from the top of Corcovado mountain.

To reach the top of the mountain where the statue stands, you take a little tram from the bottom of the hill. We went during the week (when it is less crowded), and we still had to wait for about 20 minutes in line, and then another hour for the next available tram.
Riding the tram up.
We passed the time by sitting on a bench in an adjacent park, watching a group of men play checkers with walnuts for pieces, and dodging an angry red bug that was attracted to Lisa.

We got on the tram and Lisa sat next to a little 3 year old boy who had apparently never seen an Asian person before. He clung close to his mom and stared at Lisa, looking as if he was going to cry at any minute. Another girl sitting across from us, who must have been older than 18, was vigorously picking her nose. The scenery outside the tram was much better, as the tram ascended through a lush, tropical jungle filled with exotic looking jack fruit trees.

The top of the mountain was packed with people, but we were able to get some good photos and enjoy some spectacular 360 degree views of Rio.
Christ the Redeemer statue from behind
It was a little bit cloudy, but luckily it didn't rain.

At night we went to a place called Sushi Leblon, which our Time Out guide describes as "one of the favourite venues of the Carioca elite" with "traffic jams as the rich and image-conscious leave their SUVs parked outside the door" (sounds like Los Angeles!). Indeed, it seemed like quite a hip and happening place to be. People were very fashionable dressed, good looking, and trendy. Prices were similar to what you would pay for sushi in LA. Unfortunately, the food wasn't too hot. They were out of yellowtail, the tuna didn't taste very fresh, and the Usuzukuri (thinly sliced fish with Ponzu sauce) had a strong, overpowering flavor so that you couldn't taste the fish.
Christ the Redeemer statue from the front


I think that we are just spoiled by living in the South Bay of Los Angeles, which has dozens of Japanese restaurants, and one of the largest Japanese communities outside of Japan. Apparently there is also a huge Japanese community in Brazil, but mostly concentrated in Sao Paulo. On the plus side, the wine was good, the service was nice, and the atmosphere was both fun, hip, and classy and everyone seemed to be having a great time.

We sat next to an older gentleman and his family in the restaurant, and learned that he grew up going to American schools, and spoke English perfectly. I asked how he liked living in Rio, and he said he loved it, "as long as you have a bulletproof car and drivers". I couldn't tell if he was joking or not, but he went on to say that kidnapping was a big problem in Brazil, and he was always worried about it while working and living there.

After dinner we walked along the streets of Leblon for a bit and got some ice cream from a little cafe.
werner1973 says:
Let me know if you find a good sushi restaurant in rio, i will be there in two weeks. good blog, obrigado. enjoy the rest of your trip :)
Posted on: Oct 18, 2012
kevinw83 says:
Tim and I saw 2 Jonas Brothers at the statue when we were there
Posted on: Feb 08, 2010
PrissyT says:
Were you trying not to stare at that person poking their nose? LOL too funny!
Posted on: Jan 24, 2010
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View of Corcovado from the tram be…
View of Corcovado from the tram b…
Riding the tram up.
Riding the tram up.
Christ the Redeemer statue from be…
Christ the Redeemer statue from b…
Christ the Redeemer statue from th…
Christ the Redeemer statue from t…
Spectacular views of Rio from the …
Spectacular views of Rio from the…
Lisa and Eric at the top of Corcov…
Lisa and Eric at the top of Corco…
Hundreds of dead moths attracted t…
Hundreds of dead moths attracted …
Gigantic jack fruit visible from t…
Gigantic jack fruit visible from …
Lisa contemplating what to order a…
Lisa contemplating what to order …
Lisa and Eric at Sushi Leblon
Lisa and Eric at Sushi Leblon
Rio de Janeiro Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Trendy, Expensive, Average Sushi
Sushi Leblon was mentioned in our guidebooks as one of the hottest restaurants in Rio. It is located on one of the nicest streets (Rua Dias Ferreira) … read entire review