japan trip day 05: tsukiji, odaiba

First things first, breakfast at Tsujiki. By the time we got going and got there it was more like brunch. It being a saturday, the market was packed. We went to the outer market and easily found two spots at the sushi place. Ordered tuna-don with a side of miso. The tuna was okay, we thought the quality would be better for ¥1600 per bowl but still nice.

The plan today was to visit Odaiba, the artificial island at the SE corner of Tokyo. We visited there many years ago, and it’s changed a lot since then. Many more buildings and spots for visitors. We took the monorail from Shimbashi station all the way to the other side of the island. Our destination was the Toyota car city at megaweb. It’s truly a city, with 2 level of huge exhibition space. Current cars in production on one level, we liked the new Tank and Roomy, which is indeed roomy. Distinctive Japanese box-like cars, with small abrupt boot and sliding rear doors for easy access.

The upper floor is devoted to racing cars on one side and future cars on the other. We were immediately drawn to the kikai, a cute concept car with visible parts, like the car equivalent of Pompidou. Very cartoonish, and it’s may be hard to envision driving one on the road. This is the vision of the future. There are other futuristic cars too, all electric and aerodynamic.

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The other side of the upper level is a display of Toyota racing cars. A large screen gave a first person view of driving a racing car, and it’s the deep vroom of a powerful engine that is the draw. We queued up to play a playstation driving game in recaro seats. Haha, no wonder we don’t play games, we were dead last.

Lunch was beef hotpot with udon noodles and wild vegetable tempura at one of the restaurants in the outlet next doors. We were quietly enjoying our lunch when the lights dimmed, shutters between the balcony (where we were sitting) and the main restaurant came down and we heard screaming coming from downstairs. A young pop singer came on stage and started singing. No idea who she is, but it seems like she has a lot of fans who were singing along, cheering and clapping. Bonus free entertainment.

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It was almost sunset when we made our way around the outdoor areas of Odaiba. It was cold and very windy, we had to struggle to walk part of the way. Nice sights though–a Ferris wheel, a gundam statue, sculptures, the fuji tv building and a replica of the statue of liberty against the backdrop of the rainbow bridge that looks like Brooklyn bridge. A little NYC in the middle of Tokyo.

The subway back towards our hotel brought us to Mitsukoshi, so we walked around the food, stationery and kitchenware sections. My feet were hurting by then so I took a seat while mm did more shopping. Didn’t go out for dinner, bought oden ingredients, tuna sashimi and crab meat at the supermarket for dinner in our room. Great to put our feet up and enjoy some sake too.

Took advantage of the washer-dryer in our room to do laundry too.