May 12, 2013

Tokyo, Japan 2013 (Day 6)

Fish for Breakfast

The weather was getting better by Day 6, so we decided that it was time to go around the city once more and experience what Tokyo has to offer.

Our first stop was to have breakfast at the Tsukiji Market, a fish/wet market famous for its fish auctions.  See, the Japanese take seafood seriously--especially their fish.  Fresh catches of the morning are unloaded to the port just beside the market, where auctions are held as early as 4 o' clock in the morning. Wholesalers and restaurant owners are the usual clients for those auctions, and tourists/passersby are not normally allowed to watch (I think they have to secure a pass/ticket, or they have a cut-off of some sort).  We didn't bother to go to the auction because, well, because it was too damn early for us hehehe. What we're really interested in is what happens around the area.

Looks yummy. I bet one leg packs more meat than our local alimasag.

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Left: Map of the Tsukiji Market area
Right: Various precautions for tourists to follow

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Even when the auctions are over, the place still looks busy.

The freshest seafood you can imagine are served at the restaurants surrounding the market.  Food bloggers already have picked their favorites, which can be observed by the looooooong line of people waiting to enter the restaurant.  Restaurants in Tsukiji Market are also counter-style, where the sushi chefs serve your food in front of you.

As we were pretty hungry by the time we arrived at the market, we did not bother queuing up the famous restaurants, and we just chose the first one that can accommodate us.  Malamang, whatever sushi they serve us will be a hundred times better than the sushi served back in the Philippines.  You can't get any more fresher than the fish in Tsukiji Market.

One of the curious things we found in the market; 
I think this is one of those ingredients that make your food taste Japanese.

Queue on one of the famous sushi restaurants in Tsukiji Market.

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Wasabi IRL!!! I'm so happy to have found these.  Naturally, I bought one to bring back home.

Oops, I just realized that I wasn't able to take pictures of the restaurant that we ate at.  I think we used Ge's camera for that.  Apologies, I was too busy enjoying my breakfast that I forgot to take a picture of it.  Tsk tsk.

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Around the City

After our breakfast, we headed out to view the other tourist spots of Tokyo.  Most of the day was spent walking (and taking the train); I must say that we were able to make the most of the weather, and nabawi naman namin 'yung mga araw na hindi kami nakapaglibot dahil sa ulan.

Kagurazaka Street

Kagurazaka Street is a downhill slope lined with shops selling food and merchandise. The goods being sold there aren't what I can call tourist-y though, as I've noticed the lack of souvenir items being sold at the shops.  My impression is that the target market here are locals, expats, or basically people who are staying in Tokyo long enough to get bored of the tourist-y stuff.

Needless to say, walking down the street sans tourist mob is quite refreshing.



Karaage-on-the-go.  Too bad we weren't able to sample this, as we were quite pressed for time.

THIS, though, we HAD to buy.  This cake shop was the same shop we had in Osaka, which is SOOOO GOOOOD.

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Imperial Palace - East Garden

This stop was a bit of a fail on my part, because when I was doing my research I thought that we will be able to go into the Imperial Palace itself.  Turns out that only the East Garden was the one open to public, toinks.  That, or you'd have to reserve tickets beforehand, or something. Whatever.

ANYways, as there was nothing left to do before going to our next stop for dinner, we strolled around the grounds and took some pictures up until its closing time.  Sadly, most of the sakura blossoms have already fallen from the trees so the garden didn't look that appealing.

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The wall to the right is a remnant of the base of the old Imperial Palace.

Leaves are starting to outnumber the blossoms. Boo.

Hours: 9:00 to 16:30 (until 17:00 from mid April through August; until 16:00 from November through February). Entry possible until 30 minutes before closing.

Closed: Mondays, Fridays, New Year (Dec 28 to Jan 3) and some special occasions. If Monday or Friday is a national holiday, the gardens are closed on the following day instead.

Admission: Free


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Then its off to another one of Tokyo's shopping district. The Ginza shopping district is like Greenbelt 5, Rockwell Power Plant Mall, Bonifacio High Street, AND Serendra lined up on a street twice as long as Ayala Avenue. Most of the shops are waaaay out of our price range, but luckily we were able to find can-afford brands like Uniqlo and H&M.




Nope, it wasn't me who bought something that day

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Most. Expensive. Beef. Ever.

Day 6 dinnertime was something to look forward to, because we were set to experience our first Kobe beef at one of the restaurants Ge was able to find in the Net: Gyu-An Ginza. Of course, the purist thing to do is to actually travel to Kobe and have the beef there, but since travelling outside Tokyo wasn't in our budget, we just settled on having Kobe beef inside the city.  Supposedly, authentic Kobe beef isn't available outside Japan, even as import, so one of our priorities for our Tokyo trip was to have Kobe beef.

Anyway, I'm rambling on again.  I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves (well, I'll also put some captions na rin because I'm madaldal like that).

We order a set meal, which consists of two appetizers, soup, salad, and dessert.
This was the first of the appetizers, I forgot what it was, but it tastes salty-sweet, like jerky.

Japanese house tea, a complimentary drink.

You have an option to choose your appetizer.  I chose the sashimi...

...while Ge chose the smoked beef.

Salad and dipping sauce. (L-R) Salt and pepper, honey mustard, and I forgot again.
Basta, the last one isn't ketchup.

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Waiting for the main course.

TADA!!! This set meal costs around 9,000 JPY, according to Ge's recollection.


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Last piece. =(

You can also chose your preferred dessert.  I chose the black currant sherbet...

While Ge chose the green tea ice cream.  Gochisosama deshita!

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