Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Japan 2015 Day 12 - A Day to Discover Tokyo

It was a day for Tokyo and nothing like a good weather in the morning. We were all set to start it and it was south bound from Oak Hotel.
Interesting breakfast with rice, soup and fried eggs
One of the many economical food joints found in the city.
As we approaches the Imperial Palace we were greeted with colourful  flowering trees. It's cherry blossom in Tokyo.
We took a round at the periphery roads to see the surroundings of the palace.
At the statue outside the Imperial Palace. Kusunoki Masashige (楠木 正成, 1294 – July 4, 1336) was a 14th-century samurai who fought for Emperor Go-Daigo in his attempt to wrest rulership of Japan away from the Kamakura shogunate and is remembered as the ideal of samurai loyalty. His origin has not been validated and it was merely six years between the start of his military campaign in 1331 and his demise in 1336. He received the highest decoration from the Meiji government of Japan in 1880.
At the pedestrian road crossing of Ginza.
A tea break before proceeding with our rides.
Summons by the Police for illegal bike parking in the city is a common scene.
We have reached our very much desired destination a fish market called Tsukiji after nearly 9 km of roaming in the city of Tokyo.
The Tsukiji Market (築地市場), supervised by the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market(東京都中央卸売市場) of the Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Industrial and Labor Affairs, is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world and also one of the largest wholesale food markets of any kind.
The market is located in Tsukiji in central Tokyo, between the Sumida River and the upmarket Ginza shopping district. While the inner wholesale market has restricted access to visitors, the outer retail market, restaurants and associated restaurant supply stores remain a major tourist attraction for both domestic and overseas visitors.
There are plenty of sushi counters here, but to find the best ones, you need to wend your way to the restaurant area near the wholesale fruit and vegetable market, just inside the main gate off Shin-ohashi Street. To me the food is the same at any corners of this market.
Our brommies were simply parked together with other bicycles at this road side.
It's been said that no visit to Tsukiji is complete without a sushi breakfast. It was because of this sentence Jo queued for it.
Actually we gave up after a while of queuing and decided to forget about eating at the fish market but as we were leaving the place we saw more places offering food and found this one which do not need to wait too long and this was the shop we patronised.
Ryo Sushi one of the many shops serving good sushi. Let's try.
Our main man who served our meals on that day.
The sushi freshly prepared and served on the slim black marble slab at the eating counter.

Our shared Ryu Sushi for 2,500 yen.
Jo opted for this eel delicacy with glutinous rice.
There were more places for eating, these people were eating at the road pavement next to the road... and more as you walk down the street.
The"outer market" (jōgai-shijō) is a mixture of wholesale and retail shops that sell Japanese kitchen tools, restaurant supplies, groceries, and seafood, and many restaurants, especially sushi restaurants.
The Tsukiji fish market occupies valuable real estate close to the center of the city. Former Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara repeatedly called for moving the market to Toyosu,Koto. The long-anticipated move to the new market will take place in November 2016, in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. The new location has been criticized for being heavily polluted and in need of cleanup. There are plans to retain a retail market, roughly a quarter of the current operation, in Tsukiji. The remaining area of the market will be redeveloped.
After the famous fish market I decided to pay a visit to Loro Tokyo.
I got myself a replace bag cover for my S bag.
The exploration continued at times using bridges of such nature which are bicycle friendly.
Akihabara gained the nickname Akihabara Electric Town (秋葉原電気街) shortly after World War II for being a major shopping center for household electronic goods and the post-war black market. 
Nowadays, Akihabara is considered by many to be an otaku cultural center and a shopping district for video games, anime, manga, and computer goods. Icons from popular anime and manga are displayed prominently on the shops in the area, and numerous maid cafés are found throughout the district.
Ameyoko (アメ横) is a busy market street along the Yamanote Line tracks between Okachimachi and Ueno Stations. The name "Ameyoko" is a short form for "Ameya Yokocho" (candy store alley), as candies were traditionally sold there. Alternatively, "Ame" also stands for "America", because a lot of American products used to be available there when the street was the site of a black market in the years following World War Two.
By now we were closing to our base at Ueno as the sun set and a drink or two would be lovely.
These delicious yakitori with some dashes of spicy pepper were heavenly good.
What a wonderful way to end the day's exploration at a busy street, sipping my beer and watching the people moving up and down.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Japan 2015 - Day 11 Hiroshima - Tokyo

After staying 2 nights at Urbain Central Hiroshima it was time for us to leave this city for Tokyo.
Our plan was to visit the places we missed out the day before at the Memorial Park before we say goodbye to Hiroshima.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park (広島平和記念公園) is a memorial park in the center of Hiroshima. It is dedicated to the legacy of Hiroshima as the first city in the world to suffer a nuclear attack, and to the memories of the bomb's direct and indirect victims (of whom there may have been as many as 140,000). The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park was planed and designed by the Japanese Architect Kenzō Tange at Tange Lab.
The location of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park was once the city’s busiest downtown commercial and residential district. The park was built on an open field that was created by the explosion.
Bye bye Hiroshima. May Peace prevails on earth.
Our fares from Hiroshima to Tokyo of 18,040yen per person and it was the most costly of all our train fares we had in this entire trip which is about less than RM600.00. By the way the journey took about 4hours 10minutes with 9 stops.
Non reserved seats are normally found at car 1,2 &3 which are at the far end of the train.
Our lunch on the train.
Finally we reached our last base on the 11th day and our last city to explore. The last time I visited Tokyo was 32 years ago and that was a long time.
From Tokyo Station we took Yamanote line for Ueno Station. We managed to carry our bagged brommies in and out off the train without much difficulties which at time the commuter train were packed with people.
As we travelled we learn their system and slowly we could move around in the station without much hassle.
Ueno Station (上野駅) is a major railway station in Tokyo's Taitō ward. It is the station used to reach the Ueno district and Ueno Park -- which contains Tokyo National Museum, The National Museum of Western Art, Ueno Zoo, Tokyo University of the Arts and other famous cultural facilities.
A major commuter hub, it is also the traditional terminals for long-distance trains from northern Japan, although with the extension of the Shinkansen lines to Tokyo Station this role has diminished in recent years.
Going through the busy roads as we moved towards Oak Hotel.
The sky was getting dark when we found Oak Hotel, a budget hotel that is old but clean as in most hotels found in this country.
The room is really small and compact but livable.
Tokyo is the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world. It is the seat of the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese government. Tokyo is in the Kantō region on the south eastern side of the main island Honshu and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. It officially became the capital after Emperor Meiji moved his seat to the city from the old capital of Kyoto in 1868; at that time Edo was renamed Tokyo. Tokyo Metropolis was formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture (東京府) and the city of Tokyo (東京市).
We found a eating corner near Oak Hotel and decided to have a simple meal for the day.
Another simple meal before we go back and rest ourselves.
Good Night Tokyo!