Well, it’s here. Our final full day in Japan. Tokyo didn’t seem to care at all, and opted to look like this.
I was a exhausted, so vowed to run later in the day (from the comfort of the treadmill) and we headed out to re-visit the fish market that we enjoyed so much last week.
I got the chef’s special, with various types of sashimi. Matthew got the unagi, which he has been talking about since we arrived.
The market was decidedly less fun than before thanks to the rain; or more specifically, poor umbrella etiquette. The alleys are really narrow, and my feeling is “be prepared to get wet, or just don’t come”. Others seemed to feel it was their God given right to use an umbrella, even if it meant scratching it down my face.
This was definitely not limited to Japanese people (indeed, probably 80% tourists at the market), but we have noticed an interesting local aversion to getting wet here. People frequently cycle carrying an umbrella, and today we saw workers on a forklift truck, in their overalls, in what was at worst light drizzle, holding sheets of polystyrene over their heads. Totally ineffectual of course. JUST GET WET. You’re totally waterproof, and you’re in overalls in a fish market. What’s your problem?
Matthew had spotted a stew on our way to buy sushi, so a second meal was on his horizon. Sushi breakfast at 11am, stew lunch at 11.30am? Call it what you want; it happened. The stew had liver in (plus various other bits of offal we believe) so he was free to enjoy this aaall by himself.
You get a bowl of stew for 800 yen, and then enjoy it standing round some crates surrounded by strangers. Basic as it gets, but absolutely delicious (I’m told) and they were doing a roaring trade.
My turn next – cake and tea!
I can’t think why my jeans were tight this morning. They must have shrunk in the case or something. Most strange.
We then headed back to the hotel. It was raining, I wasn’t feeling great and I wanted some down time, and then to go for a run. I think a persistent Japanese diet is having an impact on me. Everything I am eating has soy on it, and I’m sure my salt intake has gone through the roof. Coupled with booze and nowhere near the amount of water I would drink at work, I’m not feeling my best. Does this happen to everyone on longer holidays?
Anyway, an hour of reading/snoozing, and it was time to hit the gym. On the way down to the treadmill, I noticed the big screen in the hotel lobby was showing the sumo. To. Good. To. Be. True. Yep, I ran and watched the sumo – perfect!
This was a great distraction, and whilst I loved watching it live, seeing the replays is incredibly helpful – to understand how a fight was actually won. I didn’t push myself in terms of speed or incline, but got some miles through my legs.
I didn’t feel awful, and since this weekend will be mostly sitting on my arse on a plane, it was good to get something under my ever-expanding belt.
(Next week is going to involve a brutal reset of my diet).
We got ready for our final dinner in this great city, still watching the sumo in our room.
We opted for dinner near the hotel, as tomorrow will be a long day. Tokyo, or at least the Maranuchi area, seems to be full of buildings which have up to 10 floors of mall/restaurants, and then a further e.g. 20 floors of offices/hotel space etc. At first I was very against “eating in a mall”, but it really is the place to go around here. The station, for example, is packed with people having dinner every evening. There seems to be an acceptance of modern, purpose-built eating and drinking venues. In fairness, they are very smart and nicely lit. You do feel like you’re in a restaurant; a far cry from our food courts.
We ate in one of the Maranuchi buildings:
Everywhere was SO busy! We opted for katsu, which really is an epic meal in a single order. Not only do you get your katsu (and a load of sauces) but also rice, miso soup, cabbage and tea. Delicious.
On the way in, I had spotted a wine bar. I will be so happy to be home from a wine perspective. It just isn’t readily for sale here. Anyway, this place had an epic list, and served my red wine at the correct temperature (note – the glass in the above photo is very very cold. And “house” – the only one on offer with dinner).
We even found a bottle of wine from Ribera del Duero; our favourite.
Anyway – it is now home time. Probably for the best, since Matthew has had to wear his “I heart Japan” (I paraphrase) t-shirt as he’s completely run out of clothing.
You won’t hear from me tomorrow, but I’ll be back on Monday to tell you just how very tired I am. Besides sleeping on the plane (which I can’t do), I am about to ask my body to stay awake until 5am Monday morning Tokyo time. It’s curently 9.30am Saturday morning. Ouch.
Have great weekends!!