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Day 5: Tsukiji, Ginza, Akihabara, Itabashi

01.12.2016

Another early day today as we headed to the Tsukiji Fish Markets for breakfast. It was a dreary day, and the cold and rain made traveling a little difficult. Still, we were keen to get to the Fish Markets and relished in the fact that the cold weather would be better for the freshness of the fish than warm weather could be. We split our time between two different restaurants where we ate unagi, sashimi and tempura.

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The second restaurant (where we had the sashimi and tempura) had the nicest owners and workers who looked after us so well. I only wish I could’ve understood the name of the restaurant because I highly recommend it! It was situated in a small walkway which cut through one of the strips of markets, and if I ever figure out what it was called, I will post it on here.

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After breakfast we wandered around the markets and bought some souvenir cups and some seaweed to eat before we headed in to see where the auctions took place. The markets themselves were separate to the restaurant and shop area and it reminded me of a fishier Flemington Markets (located in Sydney). We weren’t allowed to take photos whilst in the markets, though that didn’t stop a lot of people around us from sneaking their phones out while the guards weren’t looking. There were scallops the size of my fist costing about half of what they charge in Sydney and we also saw some fugu which Simpson-obsessed Glenn was pretty excited about seeing. We saw the giant tuna fish that they auctioned off and I kid you not, they are bigger than half the people I know.

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Soon it was time to head off to Ginza where we would experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.

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The tea ceremony experience is something that was definitely on the Japan Bucket List, and I’m so glad that we made time to do this. We were given a brief history of matcha and then we were able to grind the tencha leaves into matcha powder using this extremely heavy stone mill (don’t let appearances fool you, it was a bit of a mission!). We then went through our own tea ceremony, and I have to say as a lover of matcha, nothing compares to the freshly ground powder which was finer than any powder I’ve ever had in Sydney.

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After the tea ceremony we headed to Akihabara via train. Akihabara is known as Tokyo’s “Electric Town” and the name is certainly well given. We spent most of our time wandering in and out of stores full of games, movies and costumes. Word of caution: there are a lot of things that shouldn’t be seen by the eyes of kids that are a lot easier to stumble upon in Japan. If you’ve got youngins, make sure you scope out the store before letting them in! We also found this huge 5 floor arcade where we were incredibly tempted to spend all our time and money. Luckily, our hunger pangs saved us and we started searching for a place to eat.

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I wish I knew the name of this place, because the beef cutlet was INCREDIBLE. This particular feast definitely ranks in my top 5 meals whilst in Japan, which is definitely saying something. If I figure out what it’s called, I’ll post it up here.

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I think it was “Kyoto Style Beef” ?

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After lunch we headed to the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. The gardens and the view surrounding the Palace was incredible. Admittedly, I took more photos of the buildings around the Palace than the Palace itself, and it was hilarious watching other tourists trying to figure out what was so interesting behind them.

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We finished off the day at the Pokemon Mega Centre in Itabashi and I finally bought a Snorlax! My only wish was that it was bigger but to be fair, if I found a Snoarlax in the size I really wanted, I’d have to buy it a seat on the plane back home.

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Today’s step total stood at a sizeable 22,812 steps, which is nothing close to what I reach in Australia. After another exhausting day, we headed to bed to rest up for another busy day ahead. Next stop, Kyoto!

-SKC.

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