16.09.2010 - 17.09.2010 26 °C
Omoide zokocho is the BEST THING EVER!! It's even more cool than I expected, and way better than the Piss Alley nickname suggests! We had some trouble finding it at first, but we resorted to our failsafe way to find anything here - ask someone! We knew we were there as soon as we saw it, a tiny little smoky street that could barely fit two people down it at once filled with tiny little bars and japanese lanterns, and smelling like lots of tasty food...
We were spoilt for choice, so went for a walk down and on every side people were shouting out to us to try and convince us to come into their little room (well at least I think that's what they were shouting, it was all in Japanese). They were all just bars in front of a tiny kitchen and one chef and you sit and face the chef at the bars on tiny little stools, it's amazing. We tried a couple, we had Yakitori in the first that also handily had an english menu (a very small one) and noodles and gyoza in the second. We spent so much time there though that we missed Golden Gai - saving that for later hopefully! If you ever go to Tokyo though, make sure this is one of your stops!
Next day we attempted to get up early and go to the famous Tsukiji fish market, we almost managed, but it was really heavy rain and we were pretty sleepy so eventually managed to get there just after 8am (pretty late for a market, it starts at about 3am apparently, eek). We didn't see much market action, but we did the important bit - super fresh sushi from one of the bars in the market made from the fresh market fish, and it was sooooooooooo good! Shona had some trouble eating it, so the little chef cut up her sushi for her, it was so cute.
After that we sneaked into the Park Hyatt Hotel, famous from the movie Lost in Translation - I've never seen it before but I'm gonna try and watch it on the plane on the way home. It has amazing views from the 52nd floor, we managed to see a bit but it's an expensive restaurant and bar and we couldn't get in with our flip flops on. We had a bento box for lunch, and then it was Bullet Train time! 90 minutes to Fukushima, where we went to stay with our friend Alex who's teaching English here. We had some crazy Japanese pancakes for dinner, where you sit at a table that has a huge hotplate in the middle then order your pancake flavour/filling. They give you the raw mixture in a bowl, mine was prawn, and you mix it up then pour as much or as little out onto the hotplate to cook. When it's done, you top it off with different toppings and it was best with everything: mayonnaise, fish flakes, bbq-ish sauce and seaweed. Yum!
Day 2 in Fukushima, and we went off on another bullet train and some smaller ones to Nikko, where they have a national park with a LOT of shrines and temples. The buildings are amazing to see, they're so detailed but we didn't learn much as all the signs and information was in Japanese...and we had NO idea what they said. They only things we could read were the no smoking signs and the ones that told you to take your shoes off before you go inside...hmm! We finished off the day with some more food and some drinks in Fukushima, a place called Hanebi and ate a LOT of food! We also had hot sake, but I wasn't such a big fan of that, think I'll stick to the beer...
We have some exciting last minute plans for tomorrow - Tokyo Disneyland!!! I cannot wait, so going to bed right now!
(It was also my little brother's 21st birthday yesterday, so everyone wish him a happy birthday!)