Day 2 in Toyko
The imperial palace is the residence of the imperial family but is itself not open to the public.
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.
Finally, to finish the day with one or two nice beers, I take a walk in the Shinjusu city part.
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 🙂
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.
They are quite funny to see in action as I almost had the impression that they were singing a kind of tantra.
It is a bit hard to swallow raw fish at 07:00 in the morning but the taste is simply fabulous.
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.
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 🙂
I am heading now to Takayama.