Sunday, July 27, 2014

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous: Fish Market, Buddhist Temple, Maid Café

We woke up early on Friday to head over to the Tsukiji fish market. This is where the wholesalers sell their daily catch to the restaurants.

It was a bustling place with vehicles zooming by from all directions with loads of boxes of various types. Kai was not happy to be such a place and did not seem to care about the various fish I tried to point out to him.

Here he is standing next to a couple octopuses.

We soon found out that we weren’t supposed to be there. A security guard informed us that visitors are not allowed before 9AM (the time when things start to settle down), and children are not allowed at any time. That explains why it seemed so unsafe to be there.

We quickly made our way out, happy to have caught a glimpse of the famed market.

Tsukiji is surrounded by markets and restaurants. The plan for this morning was to find a sushi restaurant where the fish was bound to be fresh and tasty. There are many tiny restaurants, some with room for only two people to stand and eat, but we found a bigger place where we could sit comfortably together.

Kai had his favorites – shrimp and octopus sushi, along with a big bowl of miso soup filled with clams.

After breakfast, we walked up and down the narrow streets, checking out the various shops.

Here is a shop that sells fruits. The watermelon was priced at 5,000 yen, approximately $50 for one. Peaches were more reasonable – 2,000 yen for a box of four, or $5 each.

Kai was content walking around in the heat as long as we had bottles of water or other drinks. Here he is with a Japanese soda.

After that, we walked over to a Buddhist temple.

My wife and Kai walked up front to say a prayer.

While we were there, we got to witness the Obosan (priest) doing a ceremonial prayer with a couple.

Next stop was the kabuki theater.

We did not see a performance but went through a small museum.

Here’s Kai standing behind a cutout of a kabuki costume.

From the seriousness of a Buddhist ceremony and kabuki theater, we went to the ridiculous.

We had lunch at a maid café. What is a maid café, you ask?

Apparently all the rage in the Akihabara district, young, innocent-looking waitresses dress up in maid costumes and treat customers as masters. It seems to attract a certain type of young male clientele, and tourists as well. During the day, it may be more kid friendly.

After lunch, my wife and Kai headed back to the hotel to take a break and use the pool. On the way back, they realized that I was carrying the iPad and Kai freaked out about not having his precious iPad during his break. My wife called to find out where we were and I could hear Kai screaming in the background. He was still upset when we met up.

I headed back to the hotel with them, and went to the pool with Kai. At an extra $20 per person per day, we decided that we didn’t need to both go to the pool with him.

Later, we went to the Edo-Tokyo Museum, which gave a great history of the city from the Edo period up to post World War II.

Dinner was at a chankonabe restaurant. Chankonabe is a Japanese stew eaten in large quantities by sumo wrestlers as part of their weight-gain regiment. We sat on the floor in traditional Japanese style.

And so it was another good day overall. It seems like Kai likes Japan.


  1. are seeing some of the places Tokyo is famous for. I really envy you getting to eat some great Japanese food. I am sure Kai loves Japan. It makes me wish I were there right now ( the cooler months :).

    1. My wife did a lot of research beforehand and we planned out the places we want to go. We are seeing some great sights for sure!

      Yes, come during the cooler months if you can!

  2. I sure am enjoying your trip to Japan. Thanks so much for sharing with us in your posts. Such fun spots you have found and neat things to experience! Glad kai had a good day, too!

    1. Glad you are enjoying it, Betsy. I'm trying to give readers a flavor of our experiences. It's been hard to keep up. :) We are very glad that Kai had another good day.


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