Dave's Photo & Travelblogue

Photo shoots. World travel advice. Tips on Munich & environs.

Eat All the Fish!

On my red-eye arrival in Tokyo June 19th, I was pretty beat. But I was too early to check in. Fortunately a few people in the hostel were ready to head out for the day just as I arrived. So I had a great time wandering around the city with them. We went to a park, then to a “running sushi” / conveyor sushi (known here as Kaiten Sushi, I believe). Kaitenzushi, doku des-ka?

Eat All the Fish! at Kaiten Sushi - Running Sushi

The etiquette for these restaurants is simple. Sit down, and pour yourself some soy sauce. Spoon some powdered green tea into a cup and add hot water from the nearby tap. Then just pick a few plates and chow down. A word to the wise: don’t put the powdered green tea into your soy, as I did (thinking it was wasabi). To get the spicy stuff, ask the chef. Also, in case your dish of choice doesn’t come by, the chef will make it on request – no problem.

For those who say Japan is expensive, think again. Sure, you can find ridiculously expensive restaurants, but that’s the same in any major international city. I had 8 plates of 2 nigiri each (including one toro: fatty tuna!) for about $14 USD. And the meal was damn good, equal to better sushi restaurants I’ve been to in the States (where I paid ~$40 for this much zush).

Next we went to the Tokyo Aquarium. It was not as large or impressive as the Sydney aquarium (and had a similar $$$ price tag), but had a few interesting twists. A diver feeds the fish in one of the tanks about once an hour, sometimes with interesting results:

Eel and Stingray - Best Friends Forever

Besides fish (including a tank of “Nemo” clownfish), there are some other animals, like penguins, birds, and this sleepy Southern Tamandua:

A Southern Tamandua at the Tokyo Aquarium

Outside the aquarium, a street performer was getting 110% out of his monkey. Seriously, I felt bad for the little guy, and had no qualms about leaving without giving any coins. I’d feel bad supporting this kind of literal jumping-through-hoops. But it is impressive what an intelligent animal can accomplish.

A Levitating Monkey in the mall near the Tokyo Aquarium

To round out an awesome first day in Tokyo, I went to karaoke with some of my new friends from the Anne Hostel Asakusabashi. The way karaoke works: you rent a private room. The fee is per person who is in the room (either per hour, or as a full night package price), like bowling. Drinks and snacks are available (but expensive). You program the songs on a touchpad; there are literally hundreds of thousands available. Nick and I even sang “Pull Me Under” by Dream Theater! My voice regretted that for a day or so. But it was fun!

Karaoke in Tokyo near Asakusabashi

So, Hi Joao, Nick (hidden), Bart, Dan, Michaelle, and Nathan! Expect more photos (and perhaps some video, mu-hahaha) later on.

For those who are regular readers, just wait for tomorrow. That’s when things really start to get crazy!

How’s about a question for you today: what’s your favorite kind of sushi? Drop by the blog website and leave a comment :-) I’ll tell you what my best piece of sushi was, after I finish the Japan leg of my trip.

Posted 8 years, 2 months ago at 3:29 pm.

4 comments

Sneak Preview: Japan

On June 18th, all I did was travel. Straight from the hotel to Auckland airport, then a 12h flight to Singapore, a 4h layover, and a 7h overnight flight to Tokyo.

I did take ONE snapshot today, but it was just to remember the website of a NZ photo contest that I might enter. Singapore airport offered some photo opportunities (there is a free butterfly house!), but I was just too tired. Instead, I watched the Germany and then US World Cup games.

So, I’m going to give you a sneak preview of what I might see in Japan tomorrow (wink wink, nudge nudge).

June is rainy season in Japan. But the overcast sky means nice, high-contrast reflections in the lakes. Here’s a shot from Shinjuku-Gyoen park.

Reflections in a lake at Shinjuku-Gyoen Park in Tokyo

Here’s a popular Japanese sports drink, I guess aimed at people who like to… drink sweat? Or at those who perspire a lot? Who knows. Thanks to tomorrow’s “Pocari Sweat” model, Nick.

Nick modeling Pocari Sweat sports drink. For the record, he is not sweaty at this point.

Japan has a lot to offer, and more to see (and eat) than you can imagine. From Grease street dancers to $100 canteloupes, we’re going to see it all! I have a feeling this is going to be a wild ride…

Posted 8 years, 2 months ago at 3:52 pm.

4 comments

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