A quick visit to the “land of the rising sun” for an Asp
Wqs event led me to the megalopolis of Tokyo. A city I am now enamored of.
For the duration of the contest I was blessed to stay with an elderly japanese family. I would convene with them upon their woven bamboo floor for breakfast and dinner. Eating with chopsticks, attempting to communicate by way of the lady’s dictionary and my phone dictionary. He (husband) and I would sit and watch tv/eat, she would cook and bring out and keep cooking and bringing out dishes that were foreign to my palate. Although I was eating 50% more than what they would eat combined they insisted I consume any new items presented. Slippers were required in the walking areas of the home (hallways, stairs, kitchen) another set for the toilet (labeled on the slippers) and either socks of bare feet for sleeping or eating areas. This rule is strictly enforced.
On to Tokyo. Although I did not step aboard the well known Shinkansen (bullet-train) I did use the elaborate system of rail ranging from train, metro/subway and monorail to get from the beach town of Ihcinomiya into Tokyo proper. Also used this highly clouted rail system to transport around, under, above and through the city.
In Tokyo I sampled the districts of Shinjuku, Roppongi, Sibuya, Asakusa, Ueno, Tsukiji, Shinbashi and Ginza.
The underground shopping centers, elaborate but efficient still have me awed. Concentrating on the edible areas of these markets. Elegant vendor after vender consisting of gourmet desserts to raw meat/fish had their products on display in the most appealing of ways.
The Tsukiji fish market (most active in the world) was quite an experience. Bustling with fresh sea-death (dead sea life) I have and have not seen. The speed at which everything happened inside the market is inspiring. If not attentive it is easy to be over run by a reverse three wheeled carts carrying precious commodities.
Funky foodie findings, a bit partial due to time constraint but I was able to pop my cherry with pig ears, pig tongue sashimi, dried crickets and cow guts. All were interesting and quite lovely excluding the pig ears, which had the consistency of a human ear and lacked a distinct flavor.
The effects of losing in a foreign land are tough but the feelings I have for Tokyo offset the emptiness of the competitive loss.