Tokyo Trip (15 December 2013 to 18 December 2013)–Tsukiji, Ginza and Tokyo Daijingu @ Iidabashi (midday 16 December 2013)

After a most exciting hour or so at Asakusa, it is time to make way for another segment of my itinerary – Tsukiji.

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I didn’t enter the tuna auction area as it was already late morning when I arrived. Determined to make the most of whatever is left to see there, I ventured into the open market area, and came away impressed.

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(You have indeed arrived at Tsukiji when you see the welcome sign near the park and this crossing)

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One of the many things I marvel about Japan – the area may be a market but it was not inundated with rubbish like a pasar malam in Malaysia. I did not mean that the place was spotlessly clean but the area seemed so pleasant to meander around and look idly at the wares on sale.

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This is the Tsukiji Shouro shop famous for its tamagoyaki. I bought some by saying exactly what some local dude called this thing when placing an order. See – it’s not so hard is it? The vendors are very polite to a fault, so just tell them whichever stuff you want by pointing. And yes, it’s very delicious although it was refrigerated – I’d rather have mine slightly warm.

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Some ways down the Shouro shop, there are some vendors openly roasting oysters on a barbecue pit. One juicy oyster for 100 yen? I want! 

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This was simply awesome.

The smoky flavor is still prevalent and the oyster was well cooked. I was travelling alone, as most of you are aware, so I abstained from overeating street food I come across. Believe me, it’s not easy when there’s so much delightful choices at affordable prices.

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If I had a serviced apartment with my own kitchenette during my stay in Tokyo, I’d get some of these to be cooked.

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The market itself is lined with many small eating establishments which looked awfully packed that I didn’t wanted to spend time inside as my own itinerary is rushed. My main objective was to get a Japanese Dreamcast console from Akihabara and I was concerned that I wouldn’t have enough time to experience Tokyo to a decent level of satisfaction if I spent too much time at one place.

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There are lots of places serving ramen, udon and many other dishes. You’d have to eat standing up, though for the most part and I was not terribly hungry since I’ve had eaten and was carrying some more Lawson convenience store’s onigiri for rations. They taste so good.

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Ginza isn’t far away from Tsukiji, so I decided to drop by to take some pics. This is the Kabuki-za.

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Here are more pictures of Ginza district. I was also there on the second consecutive day – the Christmas atmosphere was excellent and the cold winter weather was great for walking extensively.

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After that, it was a short trip to Iidabashi – which is the site of the Tokyo Daijingu shrine (東京大神宮). This was my first visit to a Shinto shrine and I read up on the rituals beforehand. I learnt that this shrine is also famous with women, girls, females etc. for its ability to grant wishes for love. When I arrived (which is somewhat off the main road although my instincts guided me well), there were some ladies coming out from the shrine.

I won’t lie – this statement piqued my interest and I wanted to see for myself as well. And no, I’m not going there to ogle at the girls, in case I didn’t make myself clear.

So, this trip to Iidabashi (which is not one of those ‘let’s go there since it’s along the way’ kind if you know what I mean) was a special one. There’s a guy there too – see the pic below?

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I also visited the juyosho (shrine visitor center) to get some omamori – the one for good luck. It might be useful to pick up a few Japanese phrases when dealing with the young girls manning the store. Better yet, do some research on the types of omamori on sale if you are into buying these protective amulets.

Until the next post then – stay tuned for more scenes from Day 1.      

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