9:30 am and Izumi is waiting for us in the lobby. She has our day scoped out. We are starting at Tsukiji, the old fish market where we will visit the outer market and then a visit to inside. It is quite interesting. The outside market reminds me of the night market in Beijing. Wall-to-wall people and food cooking in the stalls.
Inside we saw all sorts of local fish for sale. I enjoy fish markets. I find them interesting and an insight into the local culture. Here is a photo of a man slicing tuna.
Here are a few more shots in the market.
As we were leaving the fish market we came upon the Namiyoke Imari Shrine which was built during the Manji period (1658 to 1661) and is dedicated to safe travel.
After passing through the gate we came upon a female lion gazing out at us.
The cylinder on the left is representative of Saki and the black teeth indicate that the lion is a woman.
Here are a couple of other photos from this shrine. In the first one Izumi is explaining the significance of the various monuments to the gods.
In this photo notice the ropes from the bells. Pulling the ropes lets the Gods know you are there. JoAnn, Izumi and I each pulled a rope to announce our presence.
From there we were on to the Tsukiji Hongwan Ji Temple. The large roof was a landmark for sailors coming into the port of Edo. The current building was rebuilt in 1934 after the originals suffered from many fires. The architecture is reminiscent of architectural from the Indian subcontinent.
As we walked in the direction of the kite museum, which was to be our next stop, we were treated to some pleasant views of the city.
The Kite Museum was established by Modegi Shinzo whose love of kites led him to create this interesting place. He has collected in excess of 2000 kites and only a small selection are on display in his museum. Here are a few photos taken in his museum. It’s amazing to think that these flew.
Getting into the kite Museum was interesting. We got into the elevator and Izumi thought the museum was on the third floor. When we got there it was a restaurant and she asked someone in the restaurant where the museum was located. The man who started the museum is also the owner of the restaurant and he located it on the fifth floor. Apparently we weren’t the only ones who couldn’t find the museum. Take a look at the elevator button, especially the arrow.
Lunch time! Izumi took us to a soba noodle restaurant; a place she had been to more than once.
I can’t begin to tell you the name of the place. It was packed with people all spending a fleeting moment in their lives rushing through lunch so the can get back to their eight hour a day jobs. But let me say this, the place was really good and worth the stop.
There are numerous Shinto shrines in Tokyo. Shintoism and Buddhism are the two major religions in the country. We were off to the Senso-Ji Temple in the Asakusa area. It’s the oldest temple site in Tokyo and the city’s spiritual center. It was very crowded, as the street leading to the shrine is lined with shops. It put me in mind of the Feast of San Gennaro in New York City or the Christmas Markets in Germany.
The area was jammed packed with people. Many young women, dressed in kimonos abounded. Apparently one can rent a kimono for a day. The women wereu pretty and the kimonos were attractive. They certainly lent to the allure of the area.
We finally worked our way up to the main hall. As you can see, there are an abundance of people who want to pay their respect. The smoke is not a defect in my camera but, rather, burning incense.
After paying our respects, we strolled around the grounds. It’s interesting to think that something so peaceful is located in this hectic city.
Here is a photo of Izumi and JoAnn looking at the garden outside of the main hall.
Here are a couple of other shots in the area.
Such tranquility within a bustling, frenetic city.
From there we were off to do some window shopping by looking in some shops. We stopped in a fan shop. Before the proprietor could say “no photos” I snapped this beauty.
Then we visited a kimono store where we met Miwako Kaneta who posed for this lovely shot.
She was graceful and lovely and pleasant to speak with.
As we were heading back to the subway, to return to the Tokyo Station, I glimpsed this couple, in front of an old Tokyo house, and thought I would take their picture.
Then it was back on the subway, in route to the hotel, with our only thought, where to go and what to have for dinner.