Thursday, September 26, 2013

Japan Pt6 - Tokyo Day 2: Food, Fashion, and Festivals

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Japan Part 1   |   Japan Part 2   |   Japan Part 3   |   Japan Part 4   |   Japan Part 5

Tsukiji Fish Market

A lot of people suggested that we go to the Tsukiji Fish Market, which I wasn’t too sure about because let’s face it: it’s a fish market and I hardly ever go to fish markets in Malaysia anyway. But since it opened early and so many people recommended it, and we wanted to get some food, we went there the next morning, but not super early to catch the auction because that would require us to be there at 3am O.o We went around 10 am, and it was definitely more interesting than i thought it would be. Most of the time there we spent in the outdoor market, where vendors were selling all sorts of weird looking creatures/plants/things. Everything was super fresh, and surprisingly didn't smell of fish so much. I think the seafood section in Giant smells more.

We decided to have brunch at the market, and popped into a sushi bar to have fresh sushi, and boyyy was it good! The fish was so fresh and delicious ahhhh! Energised and with happy tummies we continued walking through the market, which was full of people, both buying things, and tourists. A lot of the stalls had samples out and the vendors eagerly invited people to try their food. We tried some teriyaki scallops, which were of course delicious. Then we walked over to the wholesale market where the real pasar basah is, but since it was already late morning, most of the activity had died down and people were cleaning up after the morning’s activities.

so fresh and so clean

all manner of pickles

look at that delicious slab of fish! i think its tuna

make your own matcha

our deeeelicious brunch

the far left was lightly broiled tuna, sangat sedap!!

made on the spot just for you

the shop was called sushi zanmai, i don't know if its the same one as the branches in malaysia. 

happy sushi eater

souvenir shopping

HUGE crabs

huge fresh oysters

teriyaki scallops testers so sedapppp

such a beautiful shoplady. Macam dalam anime

traditional pottery

cute chopstick holders

colors and patterns

the wholesale market


clams and such

huge squid

aftermath. le decapitated tuna heads

Ginza, Marunouchi, and The Imperial Palace East Gardens

We decided to take the train to Ginza just to see the glitzy side of Tokyo (yes, right after mingling with seafood :p ) Glamorous coats, dresses, and bags filled tall, shiny shop-windows. Fall fashion was starting to come in, my favourite fashion season. Of course we didn't enter any of the shops because they were the likes of Gucci, Pucci, Chanel, Dior, LV etc. We went to the Tokyo International Forum afterwards, but not before getting a bit lost trying to find it.

felt a little bit like New York, or at least what I imagine New York to be like

ooh la la

fossil shop

cute boots

i think this was Diane von Fürstenberg. i liked the quotes

japanese, fashionable everywhere

we saw this building from afar and came closer to see what it was. it was a kindergarten. a freakin kindergarten. oh ginza you fancy fancy neighborhood

kereta kecil warna merah


another outlet of sushi zanmai :D

tokyo international forum. like being inside a whale, or underneath a viking ship. me like!

none indeed. at the forum shop
It was noon and we needed to find a place to pray, so we decided to get on the free shuttle buses that looped around the Marunouchi area and get off at the Imperial Palace East Gardens. There are two gardens that are open to the public here, the larger Honmaru Gardens and the smaller Ninomaru Gardens. Munira really wanted to see a proper Japanese garden (one we could enter, because the imperial gardens in Kyoto we could only see from a distance) so we went to Ninomaru first. It was a bit hard finding a corner to pray though, since most of the garden is quite manicured. But we found some wooded area and took turns praying there.

Compared to the Imperial Palace gardens in Kyoto, the ninomaru gardens seemed a little sparse, but it was still very beautiful. After wandering around for about an hour we headed over to the Honmaru Gardens, which was quite empty. It looked more like an activity park because of the wide, open grass spaces. One thing that was really nice was throughout the gardens they have rest houses, which at first I thought were bathrooms, but actually they are proper rest houses. Little air-conditioned huts that sell drinks and ice cream and a small selection of souvenirs. Great for cooling down and resting after a hot sweaty walk through the gardens.

At the exit of the gardens there was a small museum, and because it was free and air-conditioned we went in. The exhibit that was currently being held was a collection of clothes worn by the imperial prince when he was a little boy. The furisode (long sleeved kimono) were so beautiful, and cute since they were tiny :3 too bad we couldn't take any pictures there though.

Tokyo station

approach to the imperial palace east gardens

roofs :)


ninomaru japanese garden

2 old men had huge cameras with huger lenses and were stalking these butterflies at length


spot the tourist

photo by munira

one of the many photographers that spent so long patiently photographing everything


marunouchi business skyscrapers in the background, imperial gardens in the foreground


my sistah



free but ticketed entry

fashionable japanese ladies are fashionable

trains, ever punctual, ever reliable

super long paper mural on display in one of the train stations

Asakusa surprise

Muhsin and his friend were arriving in Tokyo that afternoon and we had arranged to meet at Sensoji temple, Asakusa, at 6pm. Asakusa is a district which is a part of old Tokyo, hence its known as the historic touristy part. We’d seen a lot of history-related things in Kyoto, so the real main reason for going to Asakusa was to check out Nakamise, the souvenir shopping street.

We got to Asakusa station around 5pm, and the station was crowded with people. We didn't think much of it, being a weekend and all, but once we got to the ground level there were even more people! So many people lining the streets and music playing and noise and people and more people. It was very confusing. As it turns out, we had stepped right into the annual Samba Parade Festival. Haha! Totally unexpected being in the historic part of Tokyo.

i have noooo idea

tourist information centre that we didnt go to

We had an hour til we were due to meet up so we made our way to Nakamise. There were so many interesting shops selling souvenirs and delicacies but we didn't really buy anything since we already got most of our souvenirs from Kyoto. I did cave in and get a small handkerchief for myself since I really loved the traditional Japanese printed fabrics.

Nakamise stretches for about 250m, and ends at the gate to Sensoji temple. So we walked around looking for Muhsin but we couldn't find him. None of us had internet or phone lines so we couldn't contact Muhsin, so we decided to sit down and wait. An hour later he still hadn't shown up and we were getting worried, so we backtracked twice along Nakamise but we still couldn't find him. Then I remembered the metro station had limited free wifi, so we went there and quickly asked Mushin where he was. As it turns out he just got to the hostel, since moving with super huge and very heavy baggage made their journey to the hostel much more difficult and time-consuming than we expected. But it was good to know he was safe.

About half an hour later they arrived and we showed them around the area while looking for a place for them to eat since they hadn't eaten anything the whole day. Unfortunately it was already 8ish so most shops were closed. We did manage to find one, even though it looked like a bar, but it was the only one that had fish and plain rice, whereas other places had questionable looking meat.

window shopping commence!

pretty pretty fabrics

selipar jepun

hard at work making snacks

prints and postcards

non-foldable fans

paper lanterns


not so kawaii

i loooved the fans but sooo mahal

traditional fabric shop

umbrelly brollies

cute neko

more umbrellas


beautiful folding fans

making red bean paste filled kuih thingies called ningyoyaki

i was trying to look like him


at which point these groovy dudes were surrounded by cooing and kawaiiiiii
the cat looked like it was high
at the second gate, Hozomon gate
people lining up to...pray i think?

dusk falls, my favorite time to photograph the sky

love the colors

Sensoji Temple's Hanzomon gate from Nakamise-dori

yay jumpa! yay makan! yay orang ambikkan gambar!
 We were thinking of going to the Tokyo Metropolitan Office observation deck since it closed late, but everyone was quite tired and we didn't know if we’d make it there in time, so we ended the day just taking a relaxing stroll along the Sumida river park before heading back to our hostel.

Tokyo Skytree, the tallest broadcasting tower in the world i think


Total expenses:¥1430
Brunch: ¥730
Souvenirs: ¥200
Ice cream:¥100

Japan Part 1      

Japan Part 2 

Japan Part 3

Japan Part 4

Japan Part 5

3 hitchhikers:

zaty said...

omg i love the pics so muchhhhhh <3 <3 <3

Anonymous said...

Loving all pictures Kak Maryam! Buat rasa nak gi Japan sangat! - Wa :)

Khair Hamzah said...

Nice pictures! Looks like lots of fun!
Miss you guys. Come visit soon.

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