After Mt. Fuji, I was ready for two things: food, and more food. To do it properly though, one needs a eating/drinking buddy and WB (Work buddy) did not fail to deliver. We met and figured out how to spend the rest of our collective time in Tokyo together, basically, eating, drinking, and him humoring me by patiently waiting on a bridge late at night as I tried to take long exposure shots of the golden poop. That’s when you know you’ve got a great friend, not by what they don’t do, but what they do do. (get it?)
No, we did not wait in line at 2am or however long to get a ticket to get a peak at the tuna auction. We opted to do the more common sense thing: get up early, and head to Tsukiji to eat breakfast. Remember Animaniacs? The good idea/bad idea shorts?
- Go hungry, there’s plenty of shops around selling snacks and small eats, like uni on grilled scallops, egg with eel, or free grapefruit juice
- Wander aimlessly into the fish market before it opens, obliviously taking photos of the market. That will get you kicked out by the security, if you make it that far. Chances are you’ll just get run over by one of those turbo charged golf carts bouncing between warehouses
- Get in line relatively early for one of the sushi places next to the market. There’s a set of buildings within the boundaries of the market that are accessible to all visitors. There, fresh sushi and sashimi are served. Lines typically last between 30-60 min if you’re “on time.” Good thing you filled up with Good idea #1.
- Leave early, ugh, I wanna go baaaaaaaaaaaackkkkkkkkkkkk
To work off our breakfast/lunch, WB and I went to Shibuya to check out a park. The Meiji monastery was here, buried within a tree-filled park. For a touristy place, it was calming and very relaxing. There was an added bonus that the park/monastery clearly separated the folks walking inside from the bustling city outside.
Owls and Hedgehogs
WB loves owls. I’m up for anything unique that doesn’t involve cats, so it was only natural that we went to an owl café. There, we got to play with a hedgehog (or scare the living bejesus out of it, depending on your perspective), and walk into a small room with a bunch of owls. Some threatened to poop on you, some bite you, but most are just looking at you with their intent eyes as you pet them.
Not a single animal was harmed in these photos, I swear. Nor was any human pooped on.
I got hungry, so I ate ramen. Then I got hungry again after the owl café. WB and I went to a neighboring coffee shop and basically ordered caffeine and matcha. A perfect afternoon snack, if you ask me. The tiramisu was delish, as was my ice cream and iced coffee.
Oh yes, then there was this depressing sign:
I have a saying, when you drink a lot with friends, it’s ok. When you drink a lot alone, that’s when it’s alcoholism ^_^ WB and I were craving some alcohol by the evening and we made our way back to Asakusa at night.
What’s great about Tokyo is, there’s always something to see during the day, then you have to revisit at night to catch the lights, a la Kanye and Rihanna.
At night, you can come here to drink (check), eat (check), and wander (check) as you get your fortune (check). The temple is closed for worship, so no praying to the gods, but anyone can walk around at night on the grounds. The fortune is a self service situation. Donate about 200 JPY and shake a stick out of a cannister.
The number on the stick refers to a wooden box with the same number. Inside, you’ll get a fortune. Fortune is presented in Chinese, Japanese, and English. Japanese are realistic too, not all fortunes are great or good. I got an OK fortune, telling me basically I’ll live. No additional information given, just like my annual physical: “Your heart is beating, you’re alive.” Yea, thanks gods. But look at the pretty pagoda!