August 25 - 28                 Still More Tokyo

Dried FishThe  plan for this morning was to get a quick Japanese style breakfast at Tsukiji fish market.  Some sushi and seaweed and raw egg.  For some reason, we did not get out of the hotel until close to 9:00 a.m., and by the time we walked over to Tsukiji, an absolutely massive fish market, blocks and blocks of stuff, everything was closed!  Well, that meant no raw fish this morning, Beth was crushed.  She salved her wound by taking a shot of this dried fish.  It was in this shop that had virtually every type of fish ever caught, dried and hanging from the ceiling.  Strangely enough, with all of this wandering through this massive fishmarket, we thought that it barely smelled of fish at all.

Tea House in Hama RikyuJust a few blocks from Tsukiji, we found Hama Rikyu. It is a public park, given to the city of Tokyo by the Emperor in the 1920's.  It was directly hit by a WWII air raid, so most of the structures are new, but it is a beautiful park, with a tea house, salt water pond, and classic Japanese gardens.  Ulysses S. Grant was entertained by Emperor Meiji at this tea house, on an island in the middle of the salt water pond.  It was also the departure point for the water bus that we took up the Sumida river, to the Asakusa area of Tokyo.  You can't see it in the photo, but most of the park is surounded by skyscrapers, and the view of this classic japanese garden and teahouse from the 16th century is juxtaposed with the modern buildings visible over the treeline.
Noodles for lunch again today, but this time we chose a slightly more expensive shop (about $11 for the two of us), and they were just not as good as the cheap joint we tried yesterday.  Oh well.

Sensoji TempleThis is the main building in the Sensoji temple complex. As explained by a plaque on its side "this is a ferrocement affair with resin coating"  It is the first time I've heard of any type of church described as an affair...Maybe Clinton is a member...

Five-Story Pagoda Another building in the complex is this pagoda, also a concrete reproduction of the original that burned down in 1945.  Apparently, this complex was hit in an air raid during the war too, and nearly all of the buildings are new.  This temple complex seems to be a huge religious destination, as hordes of people were wandering around, throwing coins and burning incense.
More Ginza Shopping
After an interesting subway ride -- we basically had to guess our destination and ticket fare because all of the subway maps are in Japanese characters and you buy your tickets from a machine --  we returned to our hotel.

Nearly every street corner in Ginza, as well as most of the rest of Tokyo that we have seen you will find big buildings covered with advertising.  In the upper middle of the photo, is a video screen with a girl singing traditional japanese songs.  Lots people were actually stopping to watch and listen.  Also strange was the way that pedestrians actually obeyed traffic laws and walk lights. People would stop and wait for the walk light to come on, even if it was clear that there were no cars coming.  It seemed to show remarkable patience, something that we seem to lack.

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