Bye bye Tokyo

Day 2 in Toyko

My second day in Tokyo starts with a walk in the garden of the imperial palace located near the Tokyo train station.
The imperial palace is the residence of the imperial family but is itself not open to the public.
Autumn is a good time to visit such a place as the trees offer a beautiful mix of different colour: green, yellow, red.
I come back to the Tokyo station at lunch time. The place is simply huge and is not only a train station but also a big mall.
One of the building next to the station is called Marunouchi and is a modern mall regrouping several luxury brands.
It offers a good contrast to the first basement floor of the station also called character street.
The character street regroups shops with brands coming mostly from the TV broadcasting industry.
Among others, we can find shops selling articles of the Ghibli Studios characters, but also Tamagochi, Pokemon or Hello Kitty.
To continue my Otaku pilgrim, I move to the so called Nagoya Broadway. It is again a giant mall, but specialised only in Mangas and Anime.

Finally, to finish the day with one or two nice beers, I take a walk in the Shinjusu city part.

This area is famous for the night life, especially in the golden gai street, and is made essentially of high buildings and crossings illuminated by giant LED walls.
Day 3
As I’m not an early bird, the main challenge of the day for me is to wake up at 03:30 in the morning to be able to watch the tuna fish auction at the fish market.
To be honest, I remember only 3 times in my life when I volunteerly woke up so early.
1st time was when I was a teenager to go fishing with my father,
2nd time was at the university in Belfort where we had to wake up early or camp in front of the administration at the beginning of each semester to be sure to register to the best classes.
Finally last time I attended something so early was a few years ago at the Kocherl Ball in Munich. Imagine going to the english garten in the middle of the night to start drinking liters of beer only with candle light 🙂
But ok back to our fishes 🙂
Actually, the reason why i had to wake up so early is that the tuna fish auction has only 120 places offered for tourists. The places are free but distributed on a first come first served basis.
The auction starts at around 05:00am. I arrive at 04:00am on premises by taxi and am very lucky as I get one of the last 5 tickets.
The visit is divided in 2 groups, I am in the second one, which is allowed to enter the auction room from 05:50am to 06:25am.
At 05:45 a security guy picks us up at the waiting room and invites us to stay behind him between the lines. We understand quickly why, as we see the bikes, trucks and transporters moving around the place at full speed.
The tuna fish area is quite impressive. There are hundreds of frozen tuna fish on the ground and each fish is about 1,50m long and weighs hundred of kgs.

 

IF

At the beginning of the session, buyers are walking around to check the goods quality.

After a few minutes, a bell rings and an auction moderator goes from one fish lot to another to sell the goods.


They are quite funny to see in action as I almost had the impression that they were singing a kind of tantra.

After the auction is over, I am moving to the outside market area to have an usual breakfast: a fresh sushi set 🙂
It is a bit hard to swallow raw fish at 07:00 in the morning but the taste is simply fabulous.
20151119_071436.jpg

To finish the visit of the fish market, I take a walk in the wholesale area to watch the huge tuna fish being cut in small pieces to be sold to the restaurants and see other various seafood.

Here is a nice music video where you can see life at the fish market:
Clean Bandit – Rather Be

I am moving for lunch to the Odaiba Area. It is a very recent and modern area directly on the Tokyo coast. The highlighs here are the Rainbow bridge and the huge Gundam robot in front of the Diversity Center mall.

 

To finish the day, I move to the Shibuya city area. It is also a famous place for night life like Shinjusu. The most famous place there is the Crossing in front of the Shibuya station. It is a large hexagon where hundreds of people pass by at each green light.

After walking a bit, I couldn’t resist entering one of those Gaming building to play some arcade games.

Day 4

My last day in Tokyo is quite light. I spend 1/2 a day sorting out my pictures, planing a bit for the rest of my trip and doing the laundry.
At lunch time, I go to the Tokyo train station to get my Japan rail pass and take the metro to explore the Ueno city part.
There s not a lot to say about this area, except that there’s a nice parc in the middle with a lot of museums.
During the visit of the parc, I take by mistake a path leading to the Zoo, which was close at that time. A security guy rushes out to me and start talking to me in japanese.
After a few seconds, as he realises that I can’t understand a single word, he starts waving his hands while shouting “no monkey, no monkey”. I supposed that he wanted to tell me there was no monkey to see, and not that he was no monkey, and so I took another path to get back into the parc.

At dinner time, I walk a bit in the area behind the Ueno station to find a place to eat. I prefered to avoid the places full of men in suits coming out from work and finally i found a small restaurant full of mangas and Star Wars figurines 🙂

The owner and the staff is nice. I start chatting with the owner and as I tell him that I just left Germany, his eyes start shining and he tells me that he has one dream in his life: One Day he wants to visit… Kiel. Mmmh Ok, first time I hear that, but I mean…Why not!
Back to the hostel, I discuss a bit with my roommates. One of them is from New Zealand and invites me to visit him in Auckland during my trip. I hope I’ll be able to make it 🙂
So, my time in Tokyo is over, very interesting and crazy city but maybe a bit too big for me.
I am heading now to Takayama.
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6 responses to “Bye bye Tokyo

  1. Bravo ! nous nous n’avions pas réussi à nous lever pour aller si tôt au marché ! Par contre, poisson cru au petit dej’, un régal !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oui tu as bien fait d’investir dans un nouvel appareil, les photos sont d’excellente qualité, je suis impressionnée !
    Et tu es aussi un tres bon conteur, c’est un vrai plaisir de suivre tes aventures ☺
    Malgré tout, le sushi et en plus, si tôt : toujours pas pour moi.

    Liked by 1 person

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