This is day 5 of my Travel Chronicles: Summer 2023, working in Tokyo as a teen travel counselor. Check out the previous day’s blog post Ghibli Museum Tokyo Experience. Today, we went to fun areas like Tsukiji, Akihabara, Asakusa, and Kappabashi. The highlight of the day was doing a Sushi making class at Tsukiji!
We started the day bright and early at Tsukigi Market, the biggest outdoor fish market. Although Tsukiji Outer Market is known for being one of the biggest fish markets in Japan, they actually have many other food like wagyu meat, croquettes and tamagoyaki (Japanese eggs)! The Tsukiji Inner Market, the other section to the market is actually located in Toyosu, Odaiba and is a wholesale market geared towards professionals, and usually is not accessible to the public. It was fun looking through the different vendors and shops, however when we went at around 10am, it was so crowded that it was impossible to walk and buy anything since every place had a long wait. It just didn’t seem worth waiting in the hot weather for some street food. I did however have a delicious tuna croquette at a shop with no line, and it was perfectly juicy and soft! It is a fun area, but if you don’t plan on coming very early in the morning (before 8am) I recommend not to come as it is overrun by tourists.
After exploring the area, we head our way to the Sushi Making Class at Tsukiji outer market. We learned from a sushi chef who has been perfecting his craft for 44 years! Not only did we learn about sushi, we learned about the different misos that can be used in miso soup! Since this was also our lunch, I was really determined to make the best looking sushi possible. The chef conducted and taught us step by step on how to make different kinds of sushi using high grade yellowtail, tuna, salmon, and scallop. We made rolls, nigiris, temari sushi and gunkan roll. The gunkan roll was the most hardest since the top part kept on slidding off the rice onto the plate. Eating something that is handmade yourself always tastes better, and I learned new tricks that I used back home now! If you want to do a Sushi Making class at Tsukiji, or anywhere in Tokyo class yourself, check out classes here!
After stuffing our bellies with the amazing sushi, we headed to Akihabara, known for the influx of anime and electronics. Whenever I’m here, I love to go to multiple crane machine arcades like Sega, Taito Station, and Gigo to test my luck on a cute plushie, and playing games. There is also always a huge amount of capsule toy machines lined up in stores and the street, and they are filled with cute and quirky random toys that I don’t necessarily need, but get anyways. I also recommend to go to a Maid cafe since it’s an experience that cannot be experienced elsewhere.
We then headed to Asakusa to explore the area where our hotel was. Asakusa is a foodie heaven and is one of my favorite areas to explore and eat. The area specializes in traditional Japanese cuisine and street food and I can never get tired of it! I enjoyed exploring Asakusa’s nakamise shopping street which is filled with street food from rice crackers, daifuku, mochi, and dangos, along with many souvenirs and shops. I ate ice cream from one of my favorite ice cream shops in Tokyo, Suzukien Asakusa. Their Matcha ice cream is the best I ever had and I always make a stop here when I am in Tokyo. They have 7 grades of matcha ice cream, from light matcha flavor to the strongest matcha flavored ice cream in the world! Check out my 8 Best foods in Asakusa post if you want to see more about Asakusa’s food scene!
I tried to walk my ice cream belly off and ended up exploring Kappabashi, a neighborhood right next to Asakusa. This area is known for having over 150 shops selling food-related items, anything from plastic food samples, to tableware, and cooking equipment. The name “Kappabashi” is thought to have come from the raincoats “kappa” worn by residents in which they hung out to dry on the bridge “bashi”. But kappa also means a type of monsters from Japanese folk. The streets had beautiful views of Skytree Tower along with statues of kappas everywhere.
For dinner, we had a tempura bento box in the Asakusa area and topped the night off with a view of the illuminated Sensoji temple. Past sunset and until 11pm, the entirety of Sensoji Temple, from Kaminarimon Gate to the Main Hall and the five-storied pagoda is illuminated and makes for a beautiful atmospheric environment. The nighttime scene here is so beautiful and is recommended for anyone who is visiting Japan and want to see the temple in its tranquility and without the crowds.
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