Shibuya & Tsukiji
Once again today started with braving the hostel shower. After a poor night sleep it took me ages to get ready. By the time I got to the shower there was just one shower token left, allowing me 10 mins of water. And of course despite my best efforts I ran out of time and have spent the whole of today walking around with one shaved leg, sorry Tokyo.
First stop today was the much recommended Tsukiji fish market. As we’re used to having a student body clock we missed the 5am Tuna auction. But was still definitely worth the journey, the lanes were bustling with people selling the days catch, every cafe was full and there were loads of strange, exotic fish I’ve never seen before which you could buy. I would definitely recommend a visit, it also turns into a cheap day out if, like me, you are a vegetarian.
At one of the entrances to the fish market was a beautiful, small temple. One of the steps involved in praying is to cleanse your face but unfortunately I had to stop there as the water just made my sun cream run and I got the giggles.
From the market we then got the subway to Roppongi, home of Art and Design museums. We first checked out Fuji Film square, a free gallery and museum, something I would definitely go to again if I were to return to Tokyo. Included in the museum was an incredible, ornate large format camera and exhibition on the diversity of South America.
By this time we realised we had gotten so caught up at the market and gallery we hadn’t eaten so we popped into the nearest Ramen place we could find. The restaurant was tiny, fitting around 20 people and every time a new group of customers came in everyone moved around to fit them in. It reminded me of musical chairs mixed with Tetris.
After a nap to get our energy back we headed to Shibuya. Home of the famous road crossing seen in films and on TV. It was absolutely crazy with all the lights turning green and red at the same time you had to dodge your way through hundreds of people to get to the other side. But even so everyone was still really polite and didn’t push or rush.
On the way home once again we experienced Japanese rush hour, this was the first time I’ve seen anyone lose their temper here. As we were getting off at our stop there was a fight between two men and for a while we got squashed back onto the train as everybody moved out the way. But thankfully no one was hurt and we managed to get off. And by being generally taller than most people here I didn’t feel claustrophobic at all.
Before we came back to the hostel we stopped off at our favourite arcade. Where as we were walking out a robot recognised we were speaking English and greeted us. One of the most surreal moments of my life. He ended our chat by doing a hip-hop dance and waving us off, a surreal end to another great day.
Tomorrow we leave Tokyo and head to climb Mt. Fuji before staying in the mountains for a few days so not sure when I’ll get Wi-Fi again to update the blog. But hopefully I’ll have lots of stories to tell.