Two and a half days in Tokyo

We took our last Shinkansen (a.k.a. bullet train) to Tokyo and were delighted to spot Mount Fuji on our way back! When we arrived, we hopped on the metro and made our way to our final hostel, one we’d really been looking forward to…Book and Bed! Our beds were inside a bookcase!

Book and bed

Anyway, we had dinner and a fairly quiet night because the next day, we were going to Tsukiji Fish Market! We decided not to get up at 3am for the tuna auction and instead, get there a little before our Sushi Master Workshop at 8.30am and have a wander around the outer market. There was just so much to see at this market! Lots of fresh fish, groceries, teapots and well, everything! We met our Sushi Master at 8.30am and soon realised, he didn’t speak much English at all! We later learned (or rather, he later rocked up in the kitchen and started translating…) that the English-speaker for the day was running late. Unfortunately, this meant that for the most part, when we were walking around the market, we didn’t get much information about what to look for in the different fish or why he was choosing them etc. there were a lot of times when he said something, we nodded and said “oooh right!”

We started out by buying the tuna, after a chat with the guys who had cut it that morning – who we’d actually taken a photo of when we were wandering around before the workshop!

Next to the stall was a huge tuna fish head! Naturally, when they offered the chance to lift said fish head up…someone thought it would be a great idea!

Horrific!

Anyway, after we bought the tuna, we went into the inner market. You have to have your wits about you in the market, it’s not meant to be a tourist attraction…there are people wielding huge knives, live fish, dead fish, tanks full of crabs, there are fish EVERYWHERE! 

After buying the rest of the fish, our guide picked up some sushi rice from another stall and we went to the workshop. There was still very little interaction with the guide at this point, he made us some green tea and washed and laid out all of the fish he’d bought, he also laid out his knives and showed us a wasabi grater made from shark skin…

Then, shortly before we were handed the knives…the person who was able to translate for us, arrived! Phew! So, firstly the sushi master prepared one of the fish to show us how it’s (meant to be!) done. Then it was Alex’s turn.

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The sushi master made it look so easy but when you actually had your hands on the fish and the knife in your hand, it was nerve-wracking!

My turn *gulp*

After we’d prepared all of the fish, it was time to start making the sushi (specifically, nigiri). We learned how to make them in the proper way and then ate our body weights in sushi and sashimi – seriously, we couldn’t even bear to think about sushi for the rest of the trip! But it was just so, SO good!

That evening, we had tickets for Robot Cabaret at the Robot restaurant. Yes, you read that sentence correctly. Robot Cabaret. Now, it’s hard to put into words what this evening entailed but it was like nothing we had ever seen before, or would ever see again. It was non-stop madness with strobes, robots, pandas, dinosaurs, singing, dancing, neon, pyrotechnics and more.

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These photos don’t do it justice…all I will say is, you have to check it out if you go to Tokyo because it is insane!

The next day was our last day in Tokyo so we checked out of the hostel, left our bags in lockers at Tokyo station again and went back to that market in Asakusa for a spot of souvenir shopping (and another matcha cream taiyaki!) and then to Shibuya to see the famous crossing once again and have more of a wander. We even found a ‘Pablo’ and showed great restraint in not buying another cheesecake!

And then it was over, we made our way to the airport and flew back to rainy England.

Japan, you were beautiful, fascinating, wonderful and weird and I cannot wait to return one day!

Laura

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