Fishy Deals and Tough Eels
Given how tired we were yesterday and todays excitement of a ride on the bullet train we clearly needed a good nights sleep. So the decision to set our alarms for 6am to go to Tokyo’s premier fish market was a schoolboy error of the highest order!
However Dom had spent the night swotting up on his train stations so there were no further monumental train cock ups and we cruised into the fantastic Tsujiki fish market at 7am for a breakfast of grilled eel, oysters the size of doughnuts and fish intestines…. there was also time for a highly amusing coffee break where a gaggle of Japanese tea ladies got somewhat excited at the arrival of us giants…. despite the Beatles style crush we managed to keep them at bay and just indulged in a slice of lemon drizzle cake.
Travelling to and from the fish market was rush hour in Tokyo and I found it quite incredible that on a packed train there was no noise whatsoever and I mean no noise – no one talking loudly, no text messages beeping, no one talking on their phones or playing music that impacts on others personal space. Yes they are all on their phones but making zero noise and having total respect for everyone else…. how refreshing!
So that was Tokyo in 36 hours – just magnificent.
Kyoto by Bullet Train...
Next destination for us is Kyoto and therefore a ride on the famous bullet train. Now this put us out of our comfort zone as we had not used what’s called the Shinkansen service before and so once again we got lost in the train station only for a student to offer to help and take us to the gate!! Top lad – he will go far!
We stocked up with food and beverages for the three hour trip and as is customary quietly and respectfully boarded this beast of a machine! Sadly after 30 minutes all peace was shattered as we took a bend at 100mph and my can of our favourite “Kirin” beer flew off the table and all over the aisle🤦♂️ Cue a military style operation from the staff on board with what can only be described as tea towel sized nappies being used to soak up the mess….. once again incredible service but I gave myself a yellow card and kept my head down for the remainder of the journey.
Sadly we did not see Fuji en route due to cloud cover but it didn’t detract from what was such an exciting experience – just loved the bullet train.
Gion along nicely...
In glorious late afternoon sun we arrived into Kyoto and transferred on to the shuttle bus to the Ana Crowne Plaza. Located in a sleepy part of town it’s probably just what we need for a couple of days prior to game time at the weekend (in case you had forgotten as we have …we are here for the rugby) !
In the evening we went to a traditional restaurant in the stunningly beautiful and ancient Gion district called Shu Shu. Three beers a selection of meats which you barbecue at your table along with bean sprouts, tomatoes and sauces for £25 a person. Also I never knew before coming to Japan that there is no tipping – how weird given the exceptional service received everywhere!!