Tokyo – Day 6, March 30

Today I spent several hours with a guide named Mami who took me to the huge fish market in Toyosu. This is the third location for this market. For about 300 years it was in a certain place but it was destroyed in a terrible earthquake in 1923. So it was moved to Tsujiki, but in 2018 it was relocated to a much more modern, temperature-controlled warehouse. There is a fruit and vegetable market there too. It is mostly automated. Big restaurants come every day to get the freshest fish and veggies.

Mami and I waited in line for two hours to get some of the best sushi in Tokyo. It was divine. Then we went to the old market area which is full of “finger food’ stalls. It was jammed with people and we had some fun treats. Mami left me at a cafe so I could have a coffee with a cherry blossom specialty of strawberry mochi. I love that stuff!

After that, I went back to Ueno Park and visited two more museums: Tokyo National Museum and the Science Museum. It is spring break this week so there are a lot more kids about. Since the weather finally turned to spring today, I saw all the people picnicking under the cherry trees. It was festive and everyone looked like they were having a lot of fun.

If by any chance you want to watch some great programs about Japan, I recommend Pachinko on Apple TV+, The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House on Netflix, and Lost in Translation on Amazon Prime.

I feel pretty confident getting around now but that’s primarily because of Google Maps. It tells me exactly what train to take, when it’s arriving, which platform to look for, and then which exit to leave the station from. The train and subway system here is laughably vast.

See the photos below. You’ll see the masses of people walking and sitting in the park to see the cherry blossoms, the “rules for seeing the cherry blossoms, the high-tech fish market, the low-tech food market, some crazy stuff in the city I’m staying in, and lots of beautiful stuff at the Tokyo National Museum.

So, there are a lot of things about Japan that I don’t understand. There are “Maid Cafes” where young ladies act as your waitresses and encourage you to beg for more drinks, lots of people who pull suitcases around all the time so they can carry their cos-play (dress up) outfits, and game rooms where people of all ages play the arcade claw games to win all kinds of little action figures and snacks. I’ve seen many, many people taking pictures of various sets of dolls, toys, and action figures in front of the cherry blossoms.