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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Tokyo 2014 | Day 2: Tsukiji Fish Market // Halloween in Japan

Finally, another update on our Tokyo trip!

Our second day in Tokyo includes visiting the Tsukiji Fish Market, exploring Ginza, Harajuku, Omotesando, and spending Halloween in Shibuya!

So let's continue with where we left off. Remember for Tokyo Day 1, where we arrived in Tokyo at 10.30pm, took the last train to put a night at Com Com Manga Cafe? 

It was a decision we're so happy and proud we made, because it was such an interesting experience, but more so because it made our lives so much easier going to the famous Tsukiji Market just down the road!

We scheduled our visit to Tsukiji Fish Market on the first part of our trip because of a few reasons:

1. Sleep Factor

Tsukiji Fish Market opens at 4am. If it's in the middle of our trip, we would need to make sure we slept really early like 8pm to gather enough energy to go for Tsukiji, all the way and last til the night. It would ruin our trip cos going to sleep at 8pm is sheer waste of time! So much happens at night in Tokyo! Wouldn't wanna mess up our sleeping patterns just for one fish market (tho it could be well worth the mess haha).

2. Transportation/Money Factor

If we scheduled Tsukiji Fish Market to be in the middle of our trip, it'll mean that we'd have to take a cab from our staying place to the fish market because the trains don't operate at 3am. And taking a cab in the wee hours would cost lotsa $$$. We'd rather save the $$$ for more food instead.

Which was why we thought of this arrangement!

My tiny "room" at Com Com Manga Café. 
Read all about the experience in this blog post.

So here's Tokyo Day 2!

Tsukiji Fish Market is a must-visit for tourists while visiting Tokyo. It is famous for its Tuna Auction where you could witness the whole process which usually lasts for hours, the ultra-fresh seafood warehouses and of course, the popular sushi joints- Daiwa Sushi and Sushi Dai, which, rumour has it they're opened by father (Sushi Dai) and son (Daiwa Sushi)!

Here's us bringing our luggage from the airport - Com Com Manga Café - and now to Tsukiji Fish Market. Still can't believe we managed to squeeze all our belongings into just ONE luggage for 10 days in Tokyo! But we're glad we did it. Made travelling about with it so much easier on the first day. And thanks to the husby for handling everything for me (luggage, backpack with laptop, chargers, cameras, etc etc), as always :)

Found this to be really interesting! I know about no smoking while indoors and such but while walking on the streets?? Yay to fresher air! I love Japan even more now!

The real Sushi Zanmai!

They're everywhere in Tokyo, but we didn't try them cos they're slightly more expensive than the ones here in KL and many other sushi joints in Tokyo itself too.

After wandering around for a good 20-30 mins getting lost and fooled by Google Maps (more on cos we were confused la hahaha), we finally saw the light when we met with these, err, vehicles!

They're used to ferry supplies around the fish market. And they zoom pass REAL FASTTTTTT. Us, the tourists were new to this so we were always in their way which, we could feel they weren't too happy about it. They're the real kings in the fish market so the next time you're there, try to stay away from their "route" and avoid them at all cost, and be one less annoying tourist in Tokyo hahaha!

It was 4am when we arrived at the fish market, excited cos we were all ready to check out the Tuna Auction! Boon wasn't very keen cos he said it takes a few hours and he's seen it all on Youtube anyway, but me being the more #YOLO one in the relationship (lol), said since we're here might as well! After all this could be once in a lifetime thing cos I doubt the next time we return to Tokyo we'd wanna see tunas being sold again hahah!! So he obliged to his young and dangerous wife, and we started looking out for that Tuna Auction place.

Wandered wandered until this place where no other human beings could be seen except the workers. Then a friendly policeman found two helpless tourists by the fish warehouses and came to the rescue! We were SO relieved OMG.

It was then we found out that the Tuna Auction had been closed already. They started at 3.30am, and the capacity of fitting 120 audiences was filled. I was devastated of course. Our advice is, the next time you planned to go for the Tuna Auction, just go at 3am to camp at the front door. It's a much safer bet cos you won't know when they might change the timing. No prior notice to tourists, duh.

It was just the first day of our trip so devastation was NOT an option. So I quickly recalled a friend's recommendation to visit Sushi Dai at Tsukiji Fish Market, and asked the policeman to direct us there.  Thought we should be the first two souls arriving at the sushi joint cos well, it was 4am for goodness sake! 

Found the place pretty easily and guess what!

We were probably the 58th and 59th souls lining up in the drizzle at Sushi Dai. 

Everyone not looking too pleased about queuing under the rain haha. 

I went to kepoh take pictures and found more people queueing right in front of Sushi Dai. That means what, we were like the 60-70th souls queueing?? #realitystrikes

At the same time I saw a few lonely souls queuing waiting in front of Daiwa Sushi.

 The kiasu Asian in me thought, "Aiyaaaa nobody queue there means not nice wan lerrrr", and went back to queue with the other 60-70+ souls at Sushi Dai.

After about 15 minutes, we couldn't take it no more cos they open at 5am, and being like, the 60th in line, we're probably gonna only get to taste the sushi at 7-8am. Ain't nobody got time for that. So we decided to join the hipsters at Daiwa Sushi, that I thought was the second best lo cos no queue ma.

When we decided to queue at Daiwa Sushi, it was a little too late liao cos we were like the 20th people in line. But still better than being the 70th people in line at Sushi Dai lo.

Then from drizzles, it became legit pouring rain. So all of us were ushered pushed into the shade by the shopkeeper, and were packed intimately with other hungry people.

Plus, we had a luggage to take care of so it was doubly hard. To make matters worse, the shopkeeper of Daiwa Sushi in his senior years who couldn't speak English kept telling me and Boon to leave the shop, cos we had a luggage in tow and luggage wasn't allowed into the shop. He was so insistent that he was this close to pulling me and Boon off the queue. I was insistent that we stayed and told him we had no issue leaving our luggage outside the shop cos it's Japan and it's likely no one would steal our stuff. But he kept saying no. After a long struggle, he found other things to boss with so he left. I told Boon no matter what we weren't leaving. After so much effort we're finally here. Boon was worried about our luggage being left outside, but we waited in queue to see if there's any other way.

4am soon became 4.59am. 
After all the chaos and drama, time seemed to pass just a little faster.

It was 5am already!! Looked to the right and saw the patrons of Sushi Dai started to be ushered into the shop, while at our side no sign of opening to be seen. Grass seemed to be greener on the other side for sure lol.

One thing to note, they accept CASH only, so do bring sufficient cash to Tsukiji! You'll need it cos you'll never know what the yummy sushi could do to youuuuuu. You could morph into this sushi monster and eat all the sushi, and end up spending all your cash on the first day!!! #worstcasescenario

Opposite the sushi joints were quaint little stores selling fresh seafoods and sundry stuff. 

Took a peek through the curtains and saw this! The sushi chef welcoming the first customers with big smiles. Wait, that means the shop is open!! OMG finally!!

We were lucky to be one of the first to go into the shop. Wanted to leave our luggage outside already when a super friendly lady staff told us to bring the luggage in, and helped us carry in all the way to store at the back of the shop. At that point I knew, that everything was gonna go uphill from here.

And I was right.

Ushered to be seated right here. Right in front of this cute sushi chef.
Indeed things have gotten uphill from there.

They got everything placed nicely and prepared before welcoming us in.
Such professionalism.

We ordered the set that they offered, I think 9 different types of sushis for 3780yen (approx RM117/pax). We were too hungry to think and wanted to try as many different things as possible so without a doubt, we headed straight for that!

I still remember that feeling. It was then I felt like I really WAS in Tokyo. Our first proper meal. Our first sushis. Authentic fresh off the water sashimis and sushis. I felt SOOOO happy like an excited little kid.

It was warm inside the shop and we finally got to sit down after walking around and standing for hours. It felt like we ended up in a safe cottage, with bread and stew all prepared for us after getting lost in the woods for days. 

Dramatic huh. But that's how I felt.

Food pictures to torment you!!

Tuna belly sushi. So good.

Clam miso soup. So good.

Another type of tuna belly. OMG tuna bellies rock.

Another angle of the tuna belly. 
Awesome tuna bellies deserve two photos.


Sorry, awesome tuna bellies deserve three photos.
Must pose with it before eating. In honour of all tuna bellies in the world. Your tuna belly friend served us well.

Front angle.

Top angle.

Side angle. (sorry Tamago for you have been overshadowed by the UNIIIIIII!)

Awesome Sea Urchins deserve three shots too. Truly the best Sea Urchin I've ever tasted to date. It's so fresh I could taste the sea!!! It's so good I dunno how to describe with words anymore.

They served with a fried prawn head thingy too. Interesting!

Salmon, Tuna and Ikura Maki!

Unagi and forgot what's the one beside it.



A peek into what goes on behind the counters-
Unending sushi-making!

After about 30 minutes, we were done and left quickly cos there were still 100+ people queueing outside in the drizzle. Found that they have another room beside ours which is also Daiwa Sushi!

The whole place was indeed small, and can only host 10 people at a go.

We were to exit through the back way, passing by their kitchen and stores. Though the place looked old, we could tell that they had been well-kept and clean.

My cute sushi chef saying bye. Awwww don't do that boy I'm married!

Bye bye Daiwa Sushi!

My apologies for thinking that you were second best. After eating there, I can say I just had the best sushi in my life. I don't care if Sushi Dai is better la. At least I didn't have to queue my whole life to eat 3 hours later!

Spent a total of 7560yen (approx RM232) here. Expensive? Yes. But very well worth for the freshness and quality.

Strolled around the fish market, and walked towards Ginza which was only one station away.

Their petrol station! Space-saving indeed.

When you have lack of space, you get creative.

Like this mini toll house over here. How adorable!

It was 6am plus in the morning. Nothing else besides the fish market was open and we couldn't bear staying in there anymore cos it was just so busy and chaotic. So we decided to walk around, pass time until we checked in to our Airbnb apartment at noon.

Beautiful theatre house.

And we arrived at Ginza!

Ginza is an upper class area occupied with high-end fashion labels everywhere. It was a nice vibe in Ginza, but nothing was opened yet. Most shops open at 11am, including the Sony centre that Boon had been wanting to check out.

Boon and the uncle behind waiting for Sony to open its doors. At this point we were both tired. Having survived with just 2 hours of sleep plus lots of running about, we really craved for a good bed to lie and sleep. 

After hanging out at a café, had some hot choc and took a short nap, we went to check out the Sony Centre!

Love the elevator.
Everything was just so nice and clean.

Played around with their lenses on my Sony Alpha A5000 too!

Wanted to get a prime lens but to our surprise, they sold at a higher price compared to back home here in Lowyat! So plans to get a nice lens for OOTD shots failed.

It was close to noon time! Made our way to our Airbnb apartment that we were absolutely excited to check out, cos we were already in love with it when we booked it online. Met with our lovely Airbnb host, who took time off her work just to bring us to her place and showed us around!

Meet Nao, our pretty and super nice apartment host!

A sneak of our Airbnb apartment. Will dedicated a full blog post for it next. 
Stay tuned for it! :)

Once we reached the apartment, we fell right into the bed and caught a nap. Boon, as usual, doesn't need much sleep in his life so he napped for about 30 mins only. I think I napped for a good 2 hours plus.

Woke up, showered and dolled up, by the time I was ready it was 4-5pm plus. The sun was close to setting so we quickly stole a few wife shots with the lovely sunlight, and rushed out to see the world!!

Did a slightly more kawaii make with straighter brows, thicker blusher and eye make. Don't want to stick out so much like a tourist hahahah!!

I love this photo of us!

This tiny little lift that we took daily for all 10 days. Ahhhh miss...

The train station was just right outside our apartment, with less than 1-min walk.

Love this :)

Crazy crazy rush hour crowd. 
And also everyone was rushing somewhere to celebrate Halloween!!

Everyone spent so much effort dressing up as distinctive characters, and purposely lingered around Shibuya for passers-by to take photos of/with them!

Look at this cute little one. I couldn't help it I HAD to take a photo with him. His mum gladly obliged and felt happy and proud that we wanted to take photos of him. 

I look forward to dressing my little one up for Halloween in the future too.

Thing about these Halloween cosplayers is that they're super happy when we take photos with them. They'll literally laugh with joy after our photo-taking. All in the name of fun!

Why don't we do this in Malaysia! That'd be so fun...lingering in the streets of Bukit Bintang all night just for the sake of fun, instead of spending Halloween in clubs only.


Boon and I wanted to watch Hachiko on our flight to Tokyo, so that we understood the meaning of the statue and could feel that same sentiments as everyone when we see Hachiko. But....we slept the whole way through so....hi dog statue.

It's tiring being a moderrr. Halloween peeps taking a breather.

Shibuya 109!

Went in and came out empty handed. Maybe cos the clothes didn't really suit me though I did see some real yummy shoes. But the stuff were on the expensive side and our priority was to spend money on food, so yea no shopping for me!

Walked til the skies became dark. 
Had to stop by and strike a pose for some breather, ya know.

Walking halfway gotta turn around to see if Boon was still behind, ya know.

Bright lights everywhere. 

Crazy buzzing crowd that I loved! I must say I'm glad we came during Halloween. 
The streets were so alive!

Dang, they're prettier than I am.

Okay that's kinda scary.

Ladies and gents, the epic Shibuya Crossing!

Wanted to make a GIF but...lazy la.

Your sailor ex-girlfriend.

Walked towards the quieter streets away from the crowd.

Mummy in love.

It was about 8pm and we were hungry. The first thing we wanted to eat was something we'd been missing since our Osaka trip the year before...

Ichiran Ramen!!

It was so difficult to find cos everything was in Japanese. Thank God we had data on our phones and Google Maps to bring us there. 

Thank you, Wiyo Malaysia for keeping us connected!!

Placing our orders at the vending machine.

Indication for availability of seatings.

Their staff was amazingly pleasant. Smiling always.

Without much waiting time (to our surprise), we got our seats! When we had Ichiran in Osaka it was crazily packed. Maybe cos everyone was busy celebrating Halloween outside.

Japanese really take their privacy seriously, and most of them eat alone and chao immediately. So the dividers were useful to maintain privacy. But of course we didn't need it la haha.

Every cubicle has a water tap.

Once we placed our order, we were ushered to our seats to wait for the blinds in front of us to be opened, where our food is served to us. Meaning the seatings were built surrounding the kitchen.

*angels sing*

And the blinds are closed again!

Look at the spoon design. How innovative! 
No more spoons falling into soup. Yes!

Ichiran Ramen deserves many many many shots.

The steamed pork slices are heaven. Period.
And please order their eggs too! Just so good.

Perfect first dinner of our trip. 
After that we continued exploring the streets of Shibuya.

Walked into a multi-storey Disney shop.

How adorable!

So tempted to buy. If only we had a bigger luggage.

So beautiful. 
Look at how the light is strategically shone for the shadows to appear.

The Frozen craze was in full swing then.
Photo with Anna and Elsa Japanese version!

Huge Tower Records.

Zombie bride and her Chinese zombie friend.

Cute Jap kids!

Cutest bus ever! Hachiko bus!

Sisters and vampires.

Walked along from Shibuya - Harajuku - Omotesando.

Audi glass building.

Smallest store ever. Do you see the door on the left? Acts as a store and a divider.

Modern day Rapunzel story.

More crazy at Harajuku!

Liz Lisa! Knew about this brand from Xia Xue's blog cos she's crazy about it. The store and everything in it is so pink and pretty, but I bought nothing cos it's not my style. 

Calbee! Told ourselves we gotta come back to try this. 

Common sight at Harajuku. Their fashion boutiques are daring and one of a kind.

Bought this from 7E! 

Mini green tea Oreos!

This particular street is called Takeshita Street, where the cool kids hang.

Now on to a majorly different part of town, Omotesando.

Boon said this stretch reminded him very much of the Champs Élysées in Paris. So he went up the pedestrian bridge just to catch this shot while I sat down there surfing the net lol.

Many huge outlets of big brands in Omotesando. Only managed to go in to Ralph Lauren and YSL.
Interior super nice OMG. No photos though cos they super watchful and strict.

Max Brenner! Wanted to grab a warm cuppa but it was packed to the brim. So we headed back to Shibuya. We thought Harajuku would be more happening than Shibuya for Halloween cos well, Harajuku appeared to be the crazier side of the town. But boy were we wrong, the crowd grew bigger into the night.

And more cosplayers were out to play!

I couldn't stop laughing when I saw these guys. They win best dressed in my books! All 6 of them were constantly sticking together like legit pins! OMG brilliant.

Everyone was just ecstatic to take photos with them. 

0 points for creativity. 0 points for muscles. 10 points for braving the cold.

After a while, we decided to rest somewhere for supper. And so we went up to the second floor to chill at L'OCCITANE Café.

View from L'OCCITANE Café.

Most expensive supper yet. Blogged about it here!

After that we headed home for a good night's sleep. It was a great day one. Made sure we charge all our cameras, power banks, pocket wifi etc etc before we slept (crucial).

Til' the next Tokyo post!

love, Careen.
This post is filed under: TravelTokyo.

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