One of our favourite past times when we’re travelling is to just wander around a city. To get an insight into the daily life of the people that make it, the architecture that it consists of, the food that keeps it going.
Some of the best finds have come from just walking down random streets to see what we can find. A few that spring to mind are: street Xiao Long Bao in Shanghai, canteen like restaurants with the best lunches in Mumbai, egg pancakes for breakfast in Beijing, beautiful Mediterranean architecture in Shkodra, Albania, really great little tapas bars in Palma de Mallorca. There are so many more as well. Tokyo definitely didn’t disappoint.
One of the advantages of meeting up with Adam, apart from catching up, was that he speaks fluent Japanese. Something that we both wish we could do is be fluent in another language. This is definitely a goal for the future. It also made the day go smoothly and allowed us to enjoy ourselves. I think the most frustrating thing about being in another country is language barrier. When you can’t make yourself understood it’s frustrating for both you and the person you’re talking to, and it really puts a lot of pressure on the situation. The continued struggle to achieve what you want to achieve can get on top of you so it’s nice not to have had to worry about that.
After the zoo we went and had some sushi, Ueno is well known for it’s sushi restaurants and opposite exit 7 of the metro you’ll find three perpendicular roads jammed full of them and a few other Japanese delights too. We found a real gem, the food was great and every dish was 165 Yen, most of the other sushi places vary depending on what the dish is. The Matcha tea was excellent as well and it was free.
We tried all sorts of things, it was incredibly fresh. We also tried a type of fermented bean called nattō. It’s like Japanese marmite, you either love it or you hate it. It wasn’t brilliant. But check out the article on them, they’re healthy and really good for you apparently.
The salmon was incredible. Every restaurant like this in Tokyo buys their fish from the Tsukiji fish market. So i’ve heard that the fish is caught at around 2am, brought to the market at 3-4am, the auction is at 5:30am, the fish then gets taken to the side of the market where the middlemen sell to the restaurants, and is then sold up until around 1pm, when they have a little clean up and presumably go to bed. This means that every bit of sushi that you eat in Tokyo is never more than 2 days from the fish being in the water and swimming around. Sorry fish but you’re tasty. I find that astonishing.
We didn’t actually want to leave the sushi place, could have spent 3 days in there and rolled out looking like a sushi. Alas we did, and we headed for the Sensō-ji temple
beautiful, we popped some money in the prayer box and bowed twice, clapped twice, and then bowed again. That was on the instructions. We prayed for peace and happiness in our lives.
That’s the big thunder gate to the temple.
After that we found a really cool set of side streets to wander around, in and out of shops and we grabbed a coffee.
In the background is the Tokyo sky tree viewing tower.
Sophie took some street action shots
She wasn’t impressed.
We found some cute packaging in the local shops.
And some cool logos
After that we headed to Akihabara which is a really cool place full of neon lights, and gaming arcades. It’s also the home of anime. I’ll put that in the next post for you.