Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Japanaventures 5: Day 3 - The Fisherman's Wharf of Tokyo

Every city has its Fisherman’s Wharf.

Oddly, Tokyo’s is not the Tsukiji Fish Market. No, Tsukiji is a working fish market where large sections are closed off to the general public, including the tuna auctions once so popular among tourists in the know. Diana and I went early in the morning, dodging the fork-lifts and scooters as they screeched down the narrow aisles, to see the endless piles and stacks of fish. If you haven’t seen someone cutting the cheeks out of the head of a giant Tuna, you haven’t lived. If you go, bring water-proof shoes and the eyes on the back of your head or you risk socks soaked in juices you don’t want to think about and being run over by someone carrying a large stack of flatfish.

Just make sure you get some sushi. The little shops near Tsukiji are known for serving some of the freshest and best sushi in the world. The stuff we had was amazing (even the *gasp* whale). Below is a picture of the tuna we ate:

Tokyo’s Fisherman’s Wharf is the Asakusa Temple and surrounding market. Everyone there is a tourist, even the Japanese. No local in their right mind would ever go there. The market is filled with endless booths selling your average Japanese tourist schlock. I almost bought a tie with a koi fish on it or maybe a sumo wrestler, but as I don’t wear ties much anymore, I passed.

Beyond the market you’ll find the temple which was completely destroyed by bombings during WWII (the plaques conveniently fail to mention who was doing the bombing so as not to spoil any American tourist’s day) and rebuilt in concrete. Still, the buildings are pretty and exactly what you expect to see when you come to Japan. It’s one of those places every tourist has to go see, but no native has ever laid eyes on unless they work there or are dragged their by visiting relatives.

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