Tuesday, November 22, 2005

No! Nude! No! Rip! No! Touch!

Day 3: I woke up at 5am to take the first subway to Tsukiji, the fish market. It was too early, and I had to wait until 6am for the first subway to run.

Heading into Tsukiji.


Soon-to-be breakfast.

Ow, my head!
Thanks, folks, I'll be here all week.

I was determined to have fresh sushi for breakfast, so for some reason I sat down at a noodle stand and had a large bowl of tempura soba soup (not photographed because I didn't want to embarrass the gaijin sitting next to me). Having consumed about half of my soup, I paid and proceeded to a sushi bar, where I had salmon and tuna sushi and was mocked for looking like a fisherman (I think) and for dipping my sushi rice side down in the soy sauce (big no-no).

Remember: fish side down!

Market streets around Tsukiji.

To recap: 6:35am. One major sight seen. Two breakfasts consumed. Can I go back to Kyoto now?

I took the subway to Ueno, the location of a large, lovely park that contains the Ueno Zoo, the Tokyo National Museum, homeless people and their tents, and a bunch of other stuff. The Lonely Planet guide to Tokyo says the zoo "can be safely dropped from a busy itinerary." I went to the zoo. I had to kill about two hours before it opened so I sat in the park, doing crossword puzzles and eating Pocky (and talking to the Main Man on my fancy yellow cell phone).

The lady on the right is homeless. That's why she's wearing track pants. What's your excuse?

Note to potential perverts (in the park and elsewhere): When approaching women, I suggest opening with something less obviously creepy than "Are you alone?"
Note to women: Answering "No!" when the answer is obviously "Yes!" throws potential perverts into confusion and causes them to retreat.

I took this picture so that Blanqui could see that even homeless cats clean themselves. Ahem. Wait--does that cat have a collar? These homeless people are amazing. We should ask the Japanese government if we can borrow them to fix up Iraq. Or at least organize its umbrellas.

At last! The zoo was open!

Lil Baji, this panda's for you. His name is Ling Ling and he loves persimmons.

Schoolchildren marveling at Ling Ling the panda.

In Japan, they call this a "wild dog." I call it a "dog."

Hello, my North American buddy! I don't think I'd ever seen a porcupine before.

Time to hit the gym, dude.

Madonna and child.

Monkeys horsing around.

Lions monkeying around.

Penguins in monkey suits.

I took this picture so Blanqui could see what will happen if he persists in refusing to groom himself.

Totally undignifed llama behavior. This animal is obviously not indigenous to Japan.

Forced to share living quarters with the drunken llama due to an administrative error, the tapir founders in a melancholic state.

There's nothing funny about polar bears.

Elephants yeah!

I went to the Tokyo National Museum:

This building reminded me of the Reykjavik City Hall. Figures the two most expensive countries in the world would have a lot in common. Iceland has clean streets too.

Then I took the shinkansen back to Kyoto. But first:

Just your average everyday train station food. Except for one thing. What was it? Oh yes: IT'S SUPERFANTASTICALLY AWESOME. I miss my little bento box.

Coming up: the mysterious incident of the watch in the night.


baj said...

oh. mah. god. there are so many things about this post that i love that i don't know where to begin. first, so insanely jealous that you got to eat fresh sushi for breakfast. second, i love that family tree site - esp the fact that 2 of the pix of you were taken by me and ESP the fact that you put up a pix of you in a sari (you look GARGEOUS by the way) and the location was KENTUCKY. heh. i love the zoo pix (so many monkeys!) and your captions and the rathergood link. i can't wait to go to japan!!!

AV said...

Yay! What fun, Am. I just learned that you were in Japan from Zora's blog.

Greg said...

T'aurais du me ramener le chat noir. J'ai vu un documentaire recemment qui parlait des polar ourses.. apparement ils mangent des beluga baleines parfois. Pretty sweet shit. Aussi, j'arrive a manger 25 morceaux de sashimi, sushi, et futo maki en vingt minutes.