aboutWe are Akila and Patrick. Our minds (and waistlines) expand as we travel, cook, and eat our way around the world with our two dogs.
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rainy days
in tokyo

Tokyo on a rainy day

View of Ueno, in Tokyo

We should have predicted that the sky would pour rain on us for three out of the four days we were in Tokyo because we arrived in the beginning of the rainy season.  Despite the cloudy days, we enjoyed Tokyo's many indoor activities.  Our favorites were:

Tuna at Tsujiki Fish Market Tuna at Tsujiki Fish Market
Fish at Tsujiki Fish Market Sushi at Tsujiki Fish Market

Tuna, fish, and sushi at Tsujiki Fish Market

Tsujiki Fish Market.  Tsujiki is the largest fish market in the world and we walked through aisle upon aisle of octopus, eels, tiny fish, and gigantic slabs of tuna.  Because the fish is so fresh, the market surprisingly did not smell fishy but we recommend wearing sneakers because the floors are grungy from the ice being poured into the drains.  At the end of the trip to the fish market, a nearby restaurant served Patrick the freshest sushi he has ever had and I slurped down a heaping bowl of ramen at the noodle shop next door.  If you plan to go to the Tsujiki Fish Market, carefully check the times they allow tourists; recently, they changed their rules so only 140 tourists are permitted at the 4:00 a.m. tuna market and the wholesale market is open after 9:00 a.m.  We didn’t brave the early morning and instead went to the wholesale market at 9:00.

Tokyo National Museum

Tokyo National Museum

Tokyo National Museum.  This beautiful, spare museum details the history of Japan and its art from early Jamon period in 14,000 BC to the present day.  Because the museum presents its collections on a rotating basis, the amount of art did not overwhelm us and we thoroughly enjoyed learning about the history of Japan.  The museum is located at the edge of Ueno Park so if you make it to the museum on a sunny day, follow up your visit with a stroll through the park to see the Shinto shrines near the lake.

Interior of Edo-Tokyo museum Edo Tokyo Museum
Model at Edo Tokyo Museum Edo Tokyo Museum

Edo-Tokyo Museum

Edo-Tokyo Museum.  When I heard that this museum primarily uses models to show the history of Tokyo from the 16th century, when it was known as Edo, to modern day Tokyo, I inwardly groaned.  Models are rarely done well and usually bore me to tears.  But, these models are amazing, consisting of intricate handpainted details of everyday life from the rural village of Edo to the bustling city of Tokyo.

Edo Tokyo model

Model of bustling Edo in Edo-Tokyo museum

Shopping in Ginza.  Ginza is the Fifth Avenue of Tokyo with gorgeous department stores and exclusive designer stores.  Our favorite was Sony World, a playground for electronics junkies, where we tried out the brand-spanking new 3D television.  We thought it was a neat gadget but, after a short while, watching the 3D television gave us a headache so it won’t be in our living room in the near future.

Sony store Ginza
Indoor golf Yamaha store

Ginza

Indoor golf.  Golf is a national pasttime here and every city has at least two to three golf courses or driving ranges straddling the rivers.  We opted for indoor golf, a virtual reality version that costs about $15 for 30 minutes.  We aren't certain that the machine is accurate ---- especially because I managed to putt better than Patrick, a feat I have never accomplished in real life --- but it makes a fun afternoon activity.

And, if you need something else to do on those rainy afternoons, we suggest eating!  Tokyo is chockful of restaurants and great food always brightens up a gloomy day. 

06/09/2010 10:54
Sounds like you guys had an awesome day. That fish market looks incredible. I am a big fan of food and fish! Love the stuff! Can't wait to get to this market. How moderately is the food priced out there?
06/10/2010 03:52
Jen, unfortunately, we are totally blowing our budget on food. Hotels/hostels are expensive by SE Asia standards but we are able to get by for about $60-70/night. Keep in mind, though, that we normally stay in private rooms (though usually we get a shared bathroom) and we always look for places with internet. On the other hand, food is so so expensive. A "cheap" meal costs us $20 and we generally spend about $40 for dinner for the two of us. We've been buying packaged foods and bananas at the minimarts for breakfast but lunch and dinner really add up. In fact, this is the exact reason that we are leaving Japan once our rail passes expire --- it's really expensive here.
Akila's recent blog post: rainy days in tokyo
06/14/2010 23:24
I'd love to do the fish market visit. We didn't have it on our itinerary when we were in Tokyo but it's something I'd love to dedicate time to do. But not at 4 am...
Gourmantic's recent blog post: Vivid Sydney: The Rocks Fire Water Show
06/21/2010 03:21
We were at the fish market yesterday! And the sushi- seriously- melted in my mouth! love the suggestions about places for a rainy day as we will be there again tomorrow and might be taking your advice!
We, too, totally blew our budget on food! it's just so delicious. ramen, sushi, chocolate everything... i'm in heaven!

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