A Cold and Rainy Day in Tokyo
Tokyo Travel Blog› entry 21 of 41 › view all entries
Well, I must say I miss the warm weather already!
This morning, we got up pretty early. We got dressed and grab a quick breakfast on the way to the Tsukiji Market. This is a huge wholesale fish market ��" the largest in Japan and one of the largest in the world. I learned that at about 3 am boats begin arriving here from seas around Japan, Africa and even America with enough fish to fulfill the demand in Japan. It is said that at least 450 different types of seafood is unloaded in this fish market.
There was so much fish! I walked around and took tons of pictures of all the fish. It all looked delicious. We saw many tourists standing in line at places to eat sushi, but it was a bit early for sushi in my opinion.
It’s cold in Tokyo... very cold. I guess for Larry it wasn’t as bad since he was coming from Baltimore, where he just had to shovel through almost 4 feet of snow. But for me it was horrific!
Lucky for me, Larry brought me warm clothes - gloves, hat, boots, the inner layer to my jacket, and a few warmer pieces to wear.
We were both amazed at how quiet and clean all the streets are. I know I keep saying this… but really, I think I was extra amazed since I just came from Delhi, where the honking of the horns drove me to sleep with my IPod on every night, though at home I normally can’t sleep with any noise.
Another interesting thing we noticed today is that many people ride bicycles around. When they go into the office buildings or stores, the people leave their bikes outside. In most instances the bikes are not locked. They are just left out and apparently there is no fear of the bikes being stolen.
And speaking of bike riders… many of the bigger streets (wider sidewalks that is) are split into two sections with a white line going across.
After walking around the fish market for a while, Larry and I headed over to the Hama-rikyu Gardens. There we walked around and looked at the old trees and other scenery. We sat by a pond for a while and chatted. We learned about Komo-maki (straw wrapping) and Yuki-zuri (preservation techniques) procedures used to preserve the trees in the winter. Both techniques made the trees look neat. They looked like decorated trees.
It felt peaceful to be in a quiet garden so early in the morning. I bet if the weather had been nicer it would have been a great day to have a picnic there (though I’m not sure we would have been allowed to eat there).
Larry and I decided to go back to the hotel. We rested a while, and then headed over to a nearby seafood restaurant. I have absolutely no clue what I ordered for lunch.
This was the first time we both actually had to just point to stuff that looked edible on the menu.
I realized here the language barrier is probably even greater than in India. We’ve made a few stops at local food marts and such to get water, or a candy bar along the way, and each time Larry asks me, “How do you know what you bought?” I respond each time, “I don’t know, I just guessed.”
Lunch was actually pretty good, despite my not having any clue what I was eating.
At lunch today, for the first time ever, I ate an entire meal with chopsticks. I am a horrible American because every time I go to eat sushi and/or other Asian food in the US, I always ask for a fork. Yes! I’m that person. Can you believe that? I have never made any effort to really learn how to use chopsticks. I had a friend once tell me he was surprised I never learned.
Well… today was the day! It took me forever. Larry finished his meal about an hour before I finished mine. Ok… maybe less than an hour, but he was watching me and giving me pointers for some time before I finally finished my meal. I guess now is a good time to learn how to eat with chopsticks correctly.
After lunch we went to the Ginza shopping district. We did a little bit of shopping. We had a good time but headed in early due to yucky rain.
We have made notes of things we want to see and visit while we are here. Our goal now is stay motivated despite the rain!