Before coming to Japan, I watched the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi- a biography of a Japanese chef who spent his life mastering the art of sushi, and who is now world-renowned for his talents.He uses minimal ingredients of the highest quality. The movie left me craving sushi and dreaming of eating sushi in Japan.
In Tokyo, the best place to find these high quality ingredients is Tsukiji Fish Market.Tsukiji is the largest and most respected fish market in the world.
Each day, people line up at the crack of dawn just to observe the daily tuna auction.This place means serious business. Fish doesn’t get any fresher than this. Other than seafood, they also sell high-end cutlery and produce.
The variety of seafood and Japanese produce is outstanding. Fish, fish eggs, octopus, blowfish, krill, and many products I had never heard of. Almost all stands offer complimentary samples to market visitors as well. 🙂 Standout samples were the pickled kimchi and grilled mackerel.
They also had green teas and seasoned seaweed.
Although the seaweed got stuck to the roof of my mouth like Wonder Bread, the tea helped to wash it down. Hah. 😛From the fish market, I headed to the crazy and chaotic shopping district of Shibuya.Here you’ll find massive department stores and the famed Hachikō statue. 🙂Hachikō is an Akita dog, well-known for his loyalty to his owner. He waited for him at the train station each day after work, and continued to wait for him, years after his owner’s passing. The story was eventually turned into a movie, starring Richard Gere. It just touches my heart seeing true companionship, and the relationship between humans and animals. ❤Next to Shibuya is neighboring Harajuku and Takeshita Dori Street-famous for the most outrageous fashion statements. Courtesy of Google images: Girls wearing wigs, pastel dresses and platform sneakers. Anything goes! Harajuku people-watching
Fluffy cotton candy Neon troll Christmas treeWhile here, you can unless your wacky side and try on costumes, sunglasses, and hats.Pandas cuteness! Adorable socks!
I found a lot of cute things, but as an avid traveler, I find souvenirs to be a burden. I try to stick with jewelry like these earrings. Funny enough, they are clip-on, which gives you an idea of the youthful clientele in these shops. Hah.
Pandas and mini-geisha 😀Everyone in Harajuku was so happy and smiley. This shop even offered me a free cup of miso soup. Miso soup is made with fermented soybeans and broth. Fire street aji- spicy kimchi and seaweed soup. Yum! Afterwards, I met up with an old friend from university for my first sushi dinner in Tokyo. 😀She took me to a conveyor belt sushi restaurant, where plates run on a train track around the restaurant. 😀
How to eat conveyor belt sushi:
1. Sit down in a booth and grab yourself some complimentary tea or water. 😀
2. Watch the sushi go round and round. Any regular plates circling the track are up for grabs. 🙂
3. If you don’t see something appetizing on the track, you can pick something else using the computer screen, which has pictures and English labels. Note: the ordered sushi comes on an additional raised tray, so don’t take it, if it isn’t yours.
When your sushi does pass by, the computer will start chiming loudly, so you know that it has arrived. 😀
Grilled mackerel Caviar (fish roe) and cucumberMy friend Emily brought a gang of fellow UW-Milwaukee students, who are studying Japanese in Tokyo. They gave me a lot of insight into Japanese culture. For example, they told me a lot of the school books here are actually anime cartoons.
Abraham Lincoln would be shaking his head. Haha.The Wisconsin gang also ordered lots of unique sushi, like corn with mayo, meatball, and of course anything with bacon. 😉Here’s a short clip of conveyor belt sushi:
Apparently you know you’ve eaten too much sushi, when you break the machine. Hah. 😛
I guess we’ve been cut off.4. At the end of the meal, the server comes by to measure your plates and give you your bill. Sushi success! A delicious day in Tokyo, and day 3 was just as full of unexpected surprises and beautiful sights. More to come in the next post. Until then! Merry Christmas Eve everyone! 🎅🎄🎁