Monday, April 21, 2008

Big fish at Tsukigi fish market

This looked like something from a horror movie.

Geoducks! Washingtonians recognize these. They are basically a giant clam.

Just one tiny area of one HUGE fish market

Fish heads, fish heads...

Here is a picture of the kind of crazy carts that whizzed around the market and tried to shorten my life.

Street cafe near fish market

The Rodeo Drive of Tokyo

Carlina and me in Ginza

Denim bikinis?!

There were three, yes three, Tiffany stores on this one street.

The Swatch store had its own private elevator, decorated with Swatch watches. So cool!

Zach outside of Zoorasia. The giraffes aren't real, just in case you were wondering, but Zach is.

March of the dorky penguin

Asian elephant

We just happened to be standing at the window when the zookeeper brought out huge chunks of meat to feed the Sumatran tiger. The tiger came right up the window for his lunch.

I'm glad there was glass between us.

I know it's hard to see them in this photo, but there are seagulls inside the cage. Seagulls!

Oh to be a kangaroo!

Raccoon dogs

Will my wish really come true?

Zach, save me from the Golden Monkey!

This was the best photo I could get of the okapi. He kept moving back and forth.

Hey there. Happy Monday. I'm winding down after a busy and fun-filled weekend that consisted of two big outings. On Saturday, we took a tour from the base to the Tsukigi fish market and Ginza shopping district with our friend Carlina. The fish market starts business very early in the morning, so we had to be on the bus at 6:00 am. I didn't know what to expect when we got there. I've been to the farmer's market in Seattle and the fish market in Norway, but nothing I've experienced so far could prepare me for Tsukigi. First off, they don't cater to tourists. They are there to sell fish and run businesses, and our tour guide told us to break off into small groups and to not touch anything. She led us to the main selling area, but it was at our own risk. Let's just say that this is not a place you'd want to bring little kids. The place is jumping with buyers, sellers, and delivery drivers. It was the delivery drivers who made me fear for my life. These guys are on a mission to deliver their goods, and they drive their carts like madmen. I took a fair amount of pictures, but Tsukigi is more of an experience than something you can photograph. And it's huge! After about a half hour, we decided that we'd seen enough and ticked off enough delivery drivers to satsify me for a lifetime. We made our way out into the quieter side streets with sushi bars and produce vendors and stayed there until the next part of our trip--shopping in Ginza!

I didn't know that Ginza is considered the Rodeo Drive of Tokyo until our tour guide told us so. It's a strange combination for a tour, in my opinion---fish market and designer fashion---but I guess they do this because the two attractions are located right next to each other. It's kind of hard to dress appropriately when you're participating in two completely opposite activities. I mean, what does one wear to the fish market AND Chanel? Anyone? Oh well. They had three Tiffany stores on this one street, as well as all the major designers and many I've never heard of.

On Sunday, our friends Ali and Kevin called and invited us to join them, their two girls, and other coworkers for a trip to Zoorasia in Yokohama. It's a nice zoo, and we had a good time. We got to see a few animals we hadn't seen before, including an okapi. They also had a seagull exhibit! Seagulls! For all my friends back home, can you believe that?! I took pictures of them just to prove it.

I hope everyone is well, and thanks for your comments. I always love reading them!


Karen said...

1. Denim bikini: no.
2. Seeing seagulls caged makes me very very very uncomfortable. I guess it's because I've never seen them locked up before. Squirming at the implications.
3. Ah the geoduck, comedy gold!

Jennifer Blackburn said...

Oooh, that tiger is so cute!!! I want to pet him! Please review his amazing green eye as sbown in photo. Look how lazy those kangaroos are, they remind me of my dog. I saw an okapi at a zoo once too and it was super cute! Seagulls, mmmyeahNO, not so much, they are more like large white flying vermin.

Hahaha, I'm sure I do not know what you should wear to the fish market and the fashion district. And I'm not sure which environment I'd find more intimidating, probably the fashion district since I can deal better with pissed off forklift drivers than, like, glamorous people.

Omigod, those weird mushroom candies I have seen at Uwajimaya are actually delicious chocolate cookies?? Why didn't you tell me this sooner? I have mocked them 500 times and gotten great pleasure out of imagining how gross they must be based on my prior experience with Japanese "candy", and plus the whole mushroom idea does not really mix with the whole candy idea in my opinion. But now I am obssessed with them and must go buy some to try! Don't worry, when you come home you can still get some of this stuff! We can all take an Uwajimaya field trip and you can answer several long-standing questions for me.

Sorry I haven't posted in so long! I erased your blog link from my work computer in a fit of ethics (well, paranoia really), and shortly thereafter we bought a new laptop at home which, surprisingly, did not come with your blog link already added to "My favorites." So then I didn't have your blog address anywhere and plus I was really busy and it kind of escaped my mind. I figured maybe, what, 3 weeks had gone by since I last read it?? But now I see it's been more like 3 months! You know how that is, like when you finally get together with your friend and somehow they've like gotten married, bought a house, had a child, and gone to the child's high school graduation all since you last saw them and you honestly thought it had only been like a month but somehow 20 years have gone by??????? Anyway, don't worry, you are back in my favorites at work, screw ethics AND paranoia. Sorry.

Ellen said...

Jen, you're back! Thank god. I was getting really worried about you. I am so glad to hear that I can get my mushroom cookies at Uwajimaya. Whew! Yes, you must try them. They are incredible.

jennifer blackburn said...

I am not dead! My next challenge is to actually respond to your email and Carol's ... loser!

jennifer blackburn said...

Uh, ME being the loser I mean!

Anonymous said...

1. So how many more Swatches do you own now, LN?

2. Is Zach really real? (seems to fit better in the unreal category)

3. I'm thinking you wear lots of Chanel TO the fish market AND after the fish market. Other apparel optional.

4. Thank God Jen is not dead. I was afraid I'd have to overcome my unsocial hermitness and call her, only to discover that she had been run over by a truck 3 months ago.


Anonymous said...

I have to ask.. just what exactly is a "racoon dog"??? Hard to believe anyone would want to look at seaguls on purpose...

Tami Aderrab