Kyu-Yasuda Garden, Ryogoku Kokugikan, Nakamise Shopping Street, Sushi, Sumida Cruise, Rainbow Bridge, Odaiba
29.10.2012 - 29.10.2012 -20 °C
Today we visited the Suminda/Ryogoku area of Tokyo. We would like to report an official sighting of a Panda Bus from this area. There are probably only a few of these in the world so we felt very honoured.
We then decided it was high time we schmoozed some Tokyo pigeons which lead us to Kyu-Yasuda Garden. It must be our lucky day because we also saw a tortoise and another white bird. Here are some photos from our 9:00am sit down in the park. You will find Emma sandwiched between two birds.
We would have liked to have seen some Sumo whilst in Japan but there are no tournaments on at this time of year. We decided to go and check out the stadium where they show you some old match footage and you can look at photos of past and present wrestlers. This gave us a sense of how exciting and competitive the games could be. It can cost anything between 2000-11,000 Yen (£14-£100) to watch a match.
When the stadium is open you can eat Chankonabe Stew, this is the diet of Sumo Wrestlers. It is just a mixture of vegetables and meats, so we're not sure how they go about getting such big bellies. Or how they walk with such big bellies. These are two questions that remain unanswered for now.
To mix it up a little, we decided to look around Asakusa's Nakamise Shopping Street which has about 90 stores dating from the Edo era. Most of them now sell tourist goods and a variety of freshly cooked food. It was nice to walk around and soak up the atmosphere of old Tokyo and the hubub of the busy street.
After a relaxed morning, we decided it was time to try our luck at a Japanese sushi restaurant. I think it's important to note here that neither of us enjoy a wide variety of fish and stick to the main three staples: tuna, salmon and prawns. With this in mind, we felt it was important to order a large jug of beer to accompany our fishy specimens.
We chose a conveyor belt sushi restaurant (the cheaper choice) and selected 4 dishes we felt had the most promise. We had: tuna and spring onion roll, cucumber roll, sweet and spicy shrimp (with all parts intact), and the wildcard of the bunch was spicy cod roe. The cod roe will probably be a meal that will haunt us forever. We chose cod because it was a fish we recognised and it wasn't until the plate arrived in front of us that we realised roe meant eggs. Emma didn't think twice, took it in a one-er and didn't look back. There was nearly a vom on the conveyor belt situation when Ashton ate hers. If it wasn't for the beer it might not have gone down.
That was about all we could handle in one sitting but we were quite proud of our eating accomplishments.
Off the sushi train and on to the Tokyo Cruise. On route, a Japanese man quite randomly began engaging in conversation with Emma. He referred to her as Gingercake, or at least that's what we thought happened and that was good enough for us.
The cruise took us down the Sumida River to Hinode Pier. We enjoyed a river based view of Tokyo just as the sun was going down.
From there it was a short walk (with very industrial views of the port) to the Rainbow Bridge. We were blown away (mentally and physically) because the view was amazing and because it was actually quite windy up there. We walked across the bridge and gazed out at the lit up city. It was an utterly fantastic experience and made us fall completely in love with Tokyo.
This led us to Odaiba Marine Park where we went to the big Decks complex on the water front. We chose a bar on one of the top decks and sat outside with a drink looking out at Tokyo and the Rainbow Bridge. A full and Tokyofabulous day.