This morning Ikuko planned a tour for us to see and learn about the Tsukiji market, which is the largest fish market in the world. We all met at Konodai station and headed towards Ginza, a prefecture in Tokyo. Once we had arrived at the tour center, we were greeted by their staff and shown a video about the Tsukiji auctions that occur very early, before sunrise. Each group had their very own tour guide who shared their knowledge with us for the next two hours as we walked the streets and floors of the inner and outer markets of Tsukiji. It was the busiest and most efficient place any of us had ever seen. We learned the names of many fish that Canadians have completely different names for. The tour guides were great at speaking English, even shared that they knew Anne of Green Gables, a Canadian iconic story. The guides also had so much patience for our many inquiries, it made the experience that much more enjoyable for us all!
After the market tour, the guides took us to the restaurant where we were to have our very fresh plate of Japanese sushi. All of us had at least tried sushi and raw fish prior to this experience, but we together agreed this was by far the best sushi we had ever tasted. This particular sushi was created by chefs who had been training for at least 7 years, and the fish was from the freshest of tuna, sole, shrimp, fish roe, bonito, eel and scallops. These two very important details were what made this plate of sushi such a delicious work of art.“Oishii”! (delicious).
From Tsukiji we were taken back to the subway bound for Asakusa where our Hato bus was waiting. Before the Hato Bus tour we went to a coffee shop in Ginza for a refreshing cup of coffee or freshly squeezed juice. It was perfect to prepare us for the next three hours of a Tokyo tour packed with sites to see.
- Asakusa was the location of the Sensoji temple, said to be the oldest temple in Tokyo and famous for its main Kaminarimon Gate, where a giant lantern hangs. From the temple, there is a strip of shops filled with souvenirs and food vendors. Prior to going to the temple, it is customary to shower yourself with incense, a sign that you are calling the gods for good health. We were so interested to be shown the traditions of the Buddhist religion when visiting a temple. We all bought and shared a variety of snacks once we met back to the bus at the end of the Asakusa Temple visit.
- The Skytree was such a beautiful place to visit and experience together. From 350m above we could view so much of the city of Tokyo including the Sumida river. Beneath the Skytree is a famous shopping centre which we explored for souvenirs and more treats.
After the Hato Bus tour had finished we had all learned so much about Japan and the locations we visited. Aney and Yuka helped us all find out different lines to make our way home. Wayo has already shown us such amazing hospitality in their country.