I wasn’t brave enough to get to Tsukiji market at 3am and line up in the queue in the hopes we might get to see the tuna auction. I know it is a once in a lifetime experience, but a little jet lag and a whole lot of “that’s crazy” kept running through my head. But all the same we did have an amazing time walking around the market.
And in the end we did find a tuna!!! It was gigantic. The people from the shop who bought it were so friendly and one gentlemen (in the photo) spent a great deal of time chatting with us. His English was amazing and he was telling us about the price and the different cuts of the tuna. We took a video of them cutting the tuna, hope it turned out ok.
Now we can’t forget to pick up the knife Adi bought. Check it out!
Just kidding!!! His yanagi is a bit more manageable and will fit his suitcase fortunately.
We meet Asumi and her mom and went to explore Tsukiji market. First order of business was for Adi to find and purchase his very own yanagi knife. He did all his research before coming and so it was just a matter of finding the Masamoto stand. With Asumi and her mom’s help it was so easy. They were able to translate and help us navigate around. They are so sweet!
More about the knives later, the next mission was breakfast!!! Must find some sushi!!!
It’s all smiles after a yummy breakfast. Wish I could read the kanji, love the restaurant. Not only was the sushi amazing, the tea was some of the best I have ever had. The O’baa-chan was very very proud of her tea.
Too many photos for one post (hehehe). To be continued…
I think we overdid it on Day 2. My feet are killing me from so much walking! But it was all worth it. We started the day exchanging currency. We brought cash with us. Banks typically offer better exchange rates than the small exchange kiosks. Looks like travelers checks would have given an additional advantage.
First stop was Roppongi. We intended on going to Muji but they were closed. So instead we bought a department store bento and had a very yummy lunch. Walked around a bit and got a good view of Tokyo tower in the distance.
Next stop was Shibuya. My travel buddy needed an extra layer – it was really cold. So we knew that Uniqlo would have something guaranteed. And they did. In fact we walked out with 3 big shopping bags!!! We made sure to visit Hachiko. He is so cute. What devotion.
We will be back to Shibuya. This was just a tease. So much more shopping to do. Come on feet you can make it. がんばれ.
And so the photospam begins! Day 1 we arrived safe and sound at Narita airport. We booked our flight with United but the carrier was ANA. They fed us a ton of food on the flight! Watched lots of movies too. Nana on my iPad and The Hobbit, Breaking Dawn Part 2 and Rise of the Guardians on the plane entertainment system. After clearing immigration and customs, picked up our portable WIFI. A service we used shipped it to the post office in the airport. And finally, took the NEX – Narita Express train – to Shinagawa and then a cab to our apartment in Ebisu.
This train package was great: It is a very comfortable and efficient way of travel between Narita Airport and Tokyo Station. We opted to get off at Shinagawa as it is closer to where we are staying. With the Suica & NEX package, available for 3500 yen to foreign tourists only, you can travel by Narita Express from the airport to Tokyo and receive a Suica prepaid card worth 2000 yen (500 yen refundable deposit plus 1500 yen worth in train fares). A round trip version is available for 5500 yen. You can purchase it in the basement of Narita airport. http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/suica-nex/
Suitcase – check. Travel buddy – check. Passport – check. Boarding pass – check.
Tokyo – 行きましょう!!!!!
Credits: Sakura | Illustration my own
T-minus 5 days and counting!!!
Know thyself. I expect that the following days are going to be insane with all the final prep required for the epic adventure that awaits. There is still so much I want to research and learn about Tokyo. But I’ve done my best and now we will see what unfolds. The trip is going to be jam packed and I can only hope that 2 weeks is enough to experience it all.
Here’s all the things on my list that I didn’t get to create a pre-trip post about. It’s a lot. That is what happens when you put off visiting the place you love for 40 years.
Wish I had a suitcase as cute as this travel trunk from Liz Lisa. Maybe I can find something super sweet during the trip. This will sound crazy but I put out my suitcase 2 weeks ago. Slowly things have been moved into the official packing pile. I am trying really really really hard to pack light. But still have a few missing pieces I need to sort through over the next couple of days. Looking forward to closing the zipper and heading off to the airport.
T-minus 11 days and counting. Just over a week away! The anticipation is reaching an apex; I am so excited. Today’s birthday trip wish is to stock up on …
So what are tenugui? Basically they are traditional, thin, cotton towels that are printed with the most incredible designs. The internet changed the course of my career, but my roots are in graphic design. You marry that with my Japan obsession and a fetish for fabric and tenugui becomes a perfect storm. So many of my favorite things rolled up into one little package that also happens to be both fashionable and functional.
The little towels are great for more than just drying your hands and tieing your hair back in Kendo. They make a great way to wrap wine and sake to give as gifts… can be hung as well art… used as placemats for a nice dinning experience… twisted and tied to make an impromptu hand bag… and so much more. I have a very small collection of tenugui so will be happy to add to it. What I haven’t solved for yet is how to use them in a new and innovative way when it comes to sewing fashion projects. I am sure the inspiration will strike at some point. Ideas are welcome!!!
When I first started planning the Tokyo trip, it has been a few years in the making, Daikanyama was high on my list simply for a visit to the home of Baby the Stars Shine Bright. While the original home of this alternative fashion brand has moved, I didn’t want that to be a reason rule out visiting the area all together. Thus Google brought me to Kamawanu. They have branch locations across Tokyo, but their main branch is founded here in Daikyanyama. In addition to row upon row of tenugui, they also carry a selection of other traditional Japanese accessories.
The best part of tenugui is that the designs usually tell a story. The motif of the design has meaning. The more I learn about the Japanese culture the more I comprehend some of these great tales and fables.
Links: Kamawanu English Site | A Crafter’s View