The Japan Journal - Day 3

T O K Y O Districts covered: Tsukijishijo,  Oshiage,  Asakusa 14/12/15 The night before, I studied the subway map and read up on ...


Districts covered: Tsukijishijo, Oshiage, Asakusa


The night before, I studied the subway map and read up on the few popular districts one must visit whilst in Tokyo. So I listed down a few famous places from each district, and Google mapped each one to make sure they're all within walking distance to each other or in close proximity to the subway station. Since I planned to go to a few different places, we bought the Toei and Metro Line Day Pass ($1000 yen) which basically meant that we could travel on all the lines listed on the Tokyo Subway Route Map. Since we would have to switch lines a number of times, the day pass was definitely worth the purchase. 

We caught the subway to Tsukijishijo to have breakfast at the Tsukiji Fish Markets! Directions: from Shibuya, take the Ginza line and alight at Aoyama-itchome (3 stops). Swap to the Oedo line and alight at Tsukishijo (6 stops). From there, it is only a 5min walk to the fish markets. 

Rows and rows of eateries and shops lay ahead and on both sides of this seemingly empty street.

Don't be fooled, crowds were leeched towards the sides of the street where all the food were. There were many lanes that dissect from the this lane, making the markets bigger than it looks. Michelin star restaurants come to the Tsukiji Markets to purchase their seafood and ingredients, so it is guaranteed that the quality of the seafood you will find here is the best of the best! If you have the opportunity to visit the tuna auctions located in the inner market, it is definitely worth going. However, the tuna auction is only limited to 120 visitors per day based on a first come first serve basis, and you would need to be there by 5am. So if you are not an early bird, this would be a struggle for you. We didn't get a chance to witness the tuna auctions as they were not running during that period of time in winter. Plus, leaving our hotel at 4am did not sound very appealing... 

Some of the food that we ordered: 

Assortment of sashimi on a bed of rice + a bowl of unagi with rice
BBQ tuna
Unagi with rice topped with ginger
Salmon & avocado sushi <3

This was how the tuna was grilled and how the scallops were torched:

We bought some mochi to try, even though I'm not a huge fan of its texture. But hey, when in Japan, why not? 

I saw a lot of people eating this tamago (Japanese style omelet) so I decided to buy a few to let my family tried. After all, it was only 100 yen. I found out that it's called tamagoyaki and I thought it was pretty nice because you know, I love my eggs. The sweetness wasn't too strong and it tasted fresh from its warmth. My parents however didn't like it, so I ended up finishing most of their portions (hehe not complaining).

After our tummies were filled to the brim, we headed towards Oshiage to check out the Tokyo Skytree which stands 634m tall. To get to Oshiage from the Tsukiji Fish Markets, we took the Oedo Line from Tsukishijo station and alighted at Kuramae station. From there, we had to swap to the Asakusa Line that would bring us to Oshiage (only two stops from Kuramae). Tickets to the Tokyo Skytree Tembo deck (350m) is 2060 yen for an adult. If you want to go an extra 100m higher for the Tokyo Skytree Tembo Galleria, you can pay an extra 1030 yen for this experience. 

We ended up just going to the Tembo deck as the view was spectacular enough. A 360 degree panoramic concrete view of Tokyo enables you to see how immensely dense the city of Tokyo is, and yet, how efficient everything seems to be. Despite it being pretty overcast, this urban jungle is still in full view, where the buildings seem to be strategically built to ensure that there is no wasted space. 

We didn't stay in Oshiage for long, as the Tokyo Skytree was the main attraction. We then headed to Asakusa, just a stop after Oshiage via the Asakusa line. As we emerged from the subway, we could already feel a sense of culture and charm towards the the little town of Asakusa. There are a variety of quaint little shops, and the famous Nakamise Shopping Street is lined with about 90 stores dating from the Edo era. 

This street is not hard to miss, as the entrance is 'guarded' by the Kaminarimon Gate, where a giant lantern hangs.

He was actually trying to cut off my oxygen supply

This is also the main entrance to the Sensoji Temple, which is the oldest temple in Tokyo said to have been built in 628. Sadly, the temple closes at 5 and by the time we got there, it was too late. So we decided to look around at the Shin-Nakamise Shopping Street, which is also a shopping area that runs perpendicular to the Nakamise Shopping Street. Here, you can buy all sorts of fashion items, souvenirs, and FOOD! There is a shop that sells real leather bags for a very reasonable price. The material looked genuine and the designs were decent. Mum bought two, but I resisted buying any because I knew I was an owner to way too many bags.

Since we skipped lunch due to our Tsukiji Fish Market feasting, we decided to try some food. We tried Taiyaki, which is the Japanese fish-shaped cake, and ordered a few different flavours. I tried the Taiyaki with the matcha filling (of course), but the green tea taste wasn't too strong. The consistency of the custard like filling was delicious, and the warm and slightly crispy cake just made everything that much nicer. 

My brother also wanted to try the McDonald's because one must try a different country's McDonald's right? We were both pretty full, so we shared a burger that had a potato croquette inside which was SO DARN GOOD. I still crave for this burger.

I ordered a matcha latte for mum as well, but I couldn't resist trying some. To my surprise, it was one of the best matcha lattes I had tasted so far into the trip. It was creamy and the matcha taste was clearly evident. Mum thought this would be the best matcha she would ever taste during our stay in Japan.

Little did she know, that many more matcha adventures await us.

Check out the vlog from day 3! :)

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