Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Trip to Japan, Day 2 (Tokyo)

At the end of day one we had planned to head to Tsukiji Fish Market early in the next morning to catch the tuna fish auction as I've read that it happens quite early in the morning. So plan was to wake up around 7am and head to the market from 7:30am onwards. By the time we got there, we had completely missed the tuna auction by a mile. It apparently finished around 7am so decided to venture around the famous fish market and stop by a local sushi restaurant to enjoy breakfast.

Tsukiji Fish Market

The well-known small restaurant that we were looking for was called Sushi-Dai. Unfortunately language barriers had the best of us again as the restaurant we ended up in was not of the famous Sushi-Dai but we did ask and was told that it is Sushi-Dai. Either way for what we had ordered, the seafood was fresh off the boat and it was just super-duper delicious. You could not top the sushi and rice meals here. We ended up ordering two mega mixed sushi sets and two rice sets. Each of the mixed sushi sets comes with about ten or twelve various exotic sushi's and as for the rice set we had all sorts. One of them was rice with sea-urchin. The first spoonful I had it was like WOW! Haven't had sea-urchin before until now and having spent most of my life in New Zealand where there is plenty of sea-urchin around the shores, could not believe that I haven't had something as delicious as this before.

Sea Urchin Roe with cooked crab and tamago on rice @ Tsukiji Fish Market

Anyway having such a delicacy where it is freshly caught and made, you would expect to pay some pretty high prices and you would be correct. A "breakfast" meal for the ordered items above came to around £90. Now, for a meal for four sounds ok but actually this was just breakfast! So it can be expensive but you just have to do it especially if you're there.

Next we headed out to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building which is located in Shinjuku, to catch the view of Tokyo from its twin two top-floor panoramic observation decks. The entrance to each of the observation decks are free, which is a bonus and the view was just ok. Suppose to have fantastic views of Mt. Fuji on a clear day but when we were up there, even though you can clearly see Mt. Fuji, we actually had better views from our hotel room.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

So after this we set out to find a place to have lunch and we ended up in a place near the Shinjuku JR Station called "Beef Bawl". Yes you read it right. It is spelt Bawl. I have no idea why it is spelt this way but as you walk in you are presented with various choices of noodle dishes that they serve. Basically you pick the noodle type (either udon or soba), then the type of sauces or soups for your selected noodle. There are also other tempura condiments such as prawns, squid, fish, chicken etc. Then you pay what you've chosen at the end of the till. On average it comes to around ~¥500 which works out to be around under £4 for a lunch meal. There is absolutely no way in London that you can have a full meal such as this for under £4! Did I also mention that the udon noodles are made in-house?

~¥500 Udon Lunch @ Beef Bawl, Shinjuku. Yes, it's spelt Bawl.

After this we headed to the Akihabara also known as the Electric Town. We were only there for a brief moment as I think the jet-lag was setting in with the full day previously and early start in the morning so we headed back to the hotel to rest up. While we were there though we went into the Yodobashi-Akiba to check out the gadgets and also for me I was more interested in the Gunplas they had in store. I managed to get a few models while I was there before we left so was quite happy with that.

The 6th floor @ Yodobashi-Akiba

Back at the hotel we just rested up and had dinner near one of the business blocks around where we stayed. Review of day three coming up next.

Again if you can't wait on the pictures then head over to the Tokyo link by the Snapshot area on the right.

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