Well this was a new experience, but it made a lot of things gain sense. The famous Tsukiji Market, Tsukiji Shijō [築地市場] is closing down this Autumn and relocating. One of the reasons cited is health issues, cut I can understand why they think that tourists are an extra issue. Even when trying to stay out of the way you are in someone’s way.
Something that keeps fascinating me about Japan is the amount of people working on tourist services that have problems with foreigners and wrinkle their noses when they see you approach. This does not go of course to the fishmongers who were doing their jobs but the lady in the info service when we asked for a map in English. After a while we found s coin locker for T**y’s backpack and I shamelessly threw my books in （≧∇≦）
The Tsukiji Outer Market, Tsukiji Jōgai Shijō [築地場外市場] is packed with little shops mostly oriented to people getting their daily fish, and a lot of kitchen appliances, especially knives. It was bustling with tourists in the way of everybody, and little Japanese ladies examining every post for what they wanted to cook that day. After a while we found our way to the wholesale market.
There was a shrine in the way. Of course it required a visit. The Namiyoke Inari Jinja [波除稲荷神社] is located in the corner between the two markets.
The Tsukiji Wholesale Market, Tsukiji Oroshiuri Shijō [築地卸売市場], was full of… everything ≧(ﾟ ﾟ)≦. Fishmongers seemed to have learnt to work their ways around the tourists because they did not even lose their half smirk when they avoided running you to your death with their lil machines. I guess that getting someone killed would screw the day’s sales, as it would be unsanitary. The most impressive thing were the tuna <・ )))><< cutting dealers, with their long knives. Tuna has to be cut in one go, else it ruins the piece. And in case you haven’t seen an actual tuna, we’re easily talking about a two-metre long fish, and fishmongers dealing with one-metre long loin piece. Very cool.
After snooping around for a while we headed off for kaizen sushi with super fresh fish. I felt a little guilty about drinking cola with it, but damn it was hot. Very hot.
From Tsukiji we dropped by Akihabara [秋葉原] and well, there is a Book Off there… Finally we headed off to Iidabashi [飯田橋], where aside from my school, stands Yasukuni Jinja [靖國神社], quite a controversial shrine which enshrines the souls of the fallen in the WWII, which unfortunately involves some of the people considered war criminals.
But as it was Tanabata, they were preparing for a matsuri, and I incorporated that into my plans. I got the shrine seal and a sunburn for my troubles, then I headed towards the school for air-con, I mean some hard work （≧∇≦） there was a test the next day after all and I needed to prepare for that.
One of the good things about my area was that I was on the Yamanote line on one hand, and I had a direct line to my school, so commute was good. After school I went back to the apartment to study because I had a test the next day – don’t ask how it went （≧∇≦;).