First thing on our itinerary was to visit Tsukiji Fish Market. It was a direct train ride via Hibiya Line and arrived at the market by 10.10am. It was truly a picturesque and lively atmosphere! It’s like pasar Geylang except it’s cleaner and doesn’t smell fishy. Err... I shouldn't be comparing a tiny Singapore market to the world's largest Market... I digress.
It was a pity that we didn’t get a chance to view the tuna fish auction. Apparently, they do not allow tourists to see the auction in December. Even if they allow it, visitors have to reach the auction site as early as 5am!
We bought some snacks at the market but that’s about it. I really wanted to try out sushi but Honz won’t be able to take it… another time perhaps. Besides, I later discovered that most authentic sushi bars laced sake onto the sushi… mmm... We did try a grilled oyster which was yummy!
After spending two hours at the market, it was time to walk over to Ginza! We did some serious shopping at Matsuya Ginza mall, which was really high-end. Think Takashimaya… err... Taka is actually from Japan...
Honz bought two new Coach coin purses for both of us! Not sure if it's cheaper in Japan but it's nice to say that our stuff were bought in Japan... ehem... The rest of the mall was pretty standard stuff and I didn’t think much of Ginza at the time of our first visit.
We then walked over to the Imperial Palace (East) and spent the rest of daylight posing with the Nijubashi Bridge as our backdrop. By then, our hands were freezing and we quickly headed to the nearest train station just before sunset (445pm)
Our next stop, Akihabara, was a must visit for any men who love tech stuff and gadgets! The first mall, BIC Camera, had me all ga-ga as every floor was filled with computers, cameras, and electronic gadgets. There was even a floor selling luxury goods such as Mont Blanc pens, and branded watches. Reminded me of Mustafa Centre. The camera section was fantastic! They actually let customers try out ALL the equipment, not to mention that most of the stuff are 10-20% cheaper than Singapore! It took a lot of me not to flash my credit card! Naturally, Honz, got bored so I reluctantly left the mall for dinner at a nearby Italian cafe.
Our trip around Akihabara wasn’t over yet! It took a bit of walking to finally stumble the main shopping area and we were at awe with all the lighted buildings along the entire stretch of road. I couldn’t resist dropping by another gadget mall called Sofmap. It was amazing that Tokyo has a single-tenant mall selling just electronics! 7 floors to be exact! I was in gadget heaven. The mall was even selling their Apple product at a price that are 20-30% lower than Singapore!
Once again, I didn’t get anything as it was only the Day 2 of our Japan trip and I didn’t want to spend so much so soon. While walking back to the train station, we came across two Japanese girls in their cosplay maid costume, handing out flyers. I’ve heard about the so-called Maid cafes in Akihabara and Honz dared me to visit their cafe.
We weren’t quite sure what to expect upon reaching the cafe but we were so amused at how serious they are about the whole concept. Our waitress… err maid, who attended to us, greeted us with much “kawaii-ness”, calling us Master (me) and Princess (Honz), made us performed silly actions and said phrases like “Meow Meow” and “Oi Oi”… What amazed us were seeing older patrons doing the same stuff which I though was kind of sporting of them, if not disturbing. The whole experience cost us to a tune of about S$50 :(
Just when we were about to reach the station, we spotted a Uniqlo mall and decided to do a spot of shopping. Damn… Uniqlo here is so much cheaper than in Singapore! Honz got herself a nice grey jacket while I got myself a grey scarf. Perhaps next time round, we’ll bring just one set of winter clothing to Japan and buy the rest here...
Our 2nd day ended, reaching our hotel at around 11pm!