i forgot to post this photo yesterday! we are in tokyo right now, and in case you don't know where that is in japan, here it is marked on a map:
anyway! i planned for us to go to tsukiji fish market this day because i know how the jet lag is. you end up waking up at like 4am anyway, so might as well use that to our advantage and go to "sushi dai" known for it's AMAZING sushi! time for some coffee, breakfast pan, and off to the subway we go!
they open at 5am, and there is already a line. we got there at 5:45am because we walked out at 4:45am and it was POURING rain. we hadn't gotten our umbrellas yet from 7-11, so we had to get those first. we caught the next train (5:25).
sushi dai is the one with the people in front of it, and the green banner across the doors.
we thought, "OH GOOD! the line isn't that long!" (their line is KNOWN to be a 3 hour long wait on any day), but then we saw how it wrapped around the corner and UP a flight of stairs...
yipes. well, we decided to wait anyway. it didn't look THAT long, and we really wanted this amazing sushi after hearing so much about it. i took this photo of the market below as we waited in line:
those people driving those carts mean business. they don't wake up super early to screw around at a fish auction. they will not hesitate to run you down hahaha...i'm pretty sure they despise tourists getting in the way of their job (and i can't blame them! people don't seem to pay attention to these things whizzing by them!!!)
anyway, we FINALLY got to the front of the line after a 2 hour and 40 minute wait.
they have their menu on the door. we chose the standard set because it looked filling, and it was already a lot of money to be spending on breakfast...but, i gotta say...we are both SO. GLAD. WE. DID.
it was worth EVERY minute of waiting!!!
egg (but the way the japanese prepare it, it's the tiniest bit sweet too. really good starter)
miso soup, and green tea
and who could resist hot sake at 8am? hahaha
and here comes the sushi!!! this AMAZING melt-in-your-mouth, semi-fatty tuna was to die for:
salmon from hokkaido:
more sushi...can't remember what these were (green stuff one is cucumber though):
and delicious eel:
there was a different mackerel one too, and a shellfish one, but i forgot to take a photo of it! gah...too eager to eat the deliciousness! and it was all truly delicious. i cannot stress that enough haha...and the guys sitting next to me chatted with us a bit (they were exchange students from taiwan, but they knew english well and also japanese!) and one of the sushi pieces that they got was STILL. MOVING. when it was placed in front of them! THAT'S HOW FRESH THIS WAS!
after our glorious meal, we walked around the market. whenever you see fresh fruits, veggies, or even flowers in japan, they are PERFECT LOOKING. seriously. picture perfect. never a bad anything in there. they look amazing. those melons are like $15 each though! so watch it!
pretty plates/bowls to buy. i wish i could buy it all!
and these things! they were SO cute, and the lady working there was too sweet. we bought one, and she offered to take our picture for us! SO nice! seriously, japanese people are the nicest people you will ever meet. EVER. they always go above and beyond to do something special for you and make sure you are having a great time.
here is the photo she took! cute!
and here is the one we bought from her. it's edible, and it looked like marzipan, so that's why i was attracted to them! however, i doubt it's marzapan (haven't eaten it yet). probably mochi of some sort (but i'm still hoping for marzipan hahaha...)
looking around the market more we saw a lot of other really cool things like this wasabi!
and i love how even though tokyo is a huge metropolis, they still have greenery wherever they can fit it. really nice!
afterwards we went to a toy store and ameyoko in ueno, but i had to take a photo of this ice cream vending machine first! how awesome?!
we didn't buy any...yet ;)
the toy store is right outside ueno station, and it's called, "yamashiroya". it's 7 (maybe 8?) floors of pure crazy, chaotic fun. here are some pics. first, the store itself:
and OMG i am in LOVE with this adorable siamese kitty character! i wanted EVERYTHING in this corner! how cute is he??? made me miss my little (big) kahlua kitty though!!!
got to see these iphone cases in person! i heard about them online, and they are pretty awesome! the same company who makes the realistic food examples in windows for restaurants/etc., decided to make phone covers that look like food! and they look SO real :)
ummmmm....omg no. nonononono...what are these things?! besides terrifying, obviously.
WHAT?! kill it with fire! creep-tastic.
these were awesome though (and somewhat back to normal...). playing cards that have the shape/look like food :) i would probably want to eat them up though!
they're like barbie...but anime?
i want every single one of these. anyone who has gone to japan KNOWS about the train jingles that play at the stations when a train is coming/about to leave/etc. i absolutely adore those jingles. they are so fun!
THESE KEYCHAINS PLAY THOSE AMAZING JINGLES. YES, I KNOW YOU WANT THEM TOO NOW! the one i REALLY wanted was sold out (of course! it's a good one!)! so i really hope to find these at another store.
this is a...presumably sailor moon....gundam? alrighty.
again, terrifying. babies who look like old people? yeesh.
and these pretty creepy dolls too! and check out those prices! WHOA!!! like $1,000 for the one on the left!
there were normal things too in the toy store, but posting the creepy/weird things are so much more interesting ;)
off to ameyoko! which was pretty much right around the corner:
ameyoko is a really neat market. it was the site of a black market after WWII. the name "ameyoko" is a short form for "ameya yokocho" (candy store alley), as candies were traditionally sold there. also, "ame" also stands for "america", because a lot of american products used to be available on the black market. today, various products such as clothes, bags, cosmetics, fresh fish, dried food and spices are sold along ameyoko.
melon on a stick!
it's a short little walk, but pretty fun to look at everything. people are yelling into the crowds from all sides to get customers in their shop. really cool experience.
then we took a stroll to akhiabara. it was only about 2 train stations away, and although right now in japan it's VERY hot and VERY VERY humid, we like to explore things, so we chose to walk rather than take the train.
almost every girl handing out things is dressed like a maid. super cutesy maid, or some sort of other character, but maid is definitely #1 in popularity because of all the maid cafes in akhiabara.
this section of tokyo is best known for it's electronics, games, etc. pretty cool to see futuristic stuff! we even saw a 3D camera that RECORDS in 3D! here's one of the buildings there:
random anime semi-truck
and lastly, we had to make a stop at "donki hote" because it is the "home" of AKB48 (a popular japanese girl band with 48 members in it, at least i think so. there's a lot of them.) and someone on the textfugu forums absolutely LOVES THEM. so here are some pics for you (you know who you are)!
sorry i couldn't get them in person :\ bummer.
then, as we headed to the station, we spotted this and i HAD to take a pic. one of my friends (well, more than one actually lol) LOVES gundam things!
lastly! my friend sammi told me about a cool festival going on with handmade paper mache "floats" that dangle from the ceiling! it's right by the asagaya station, so we went to check it out! we definitely saw some!
and this is a BASKIN ROBBINS in japan, if you can believe it!!! SO different! so pretty! those cakes look like perfection!
the floats all looked cool, but some were unfinished, and this one the lady was painting while we were there! so, i think it's supposed to be next weekend. they supposedly have fun activities to do too, and we didn't see any, so we might be coming back next weekend! it's not too far (maybe like 10-15 minutes from our hotel), and would be cool to see everything in action!
on our way home we walked down this path with lanterns and i thought it was so pretty :)
oh, by the way, we did all this by 5:30pm hahaha....and now we're beat. i dont think we'll be doing anything else tonight! need to get back on a normal schedule asap. i woke up at 2:30am this morning, and erik woke up around 3am hahaha...it was good for getting up for sushi dai, but now we're exhausted and the night is so young!