Look Matthew, we've already snaked twice!
We made it to the Tsukiji (pronounced ski-gee) Market. No way, no how did we make it to the Tuna Auction, which tourists must be in line by 3 am for a 5 am start because it is on a first-come, first-served basis, and only the first 120 are the lucky winners. I was tempted to go since the market will be moving permanently in November 2016 to another area, but thought it better to explore the wholesaler's area. We arrived by 9 and it is choreographed chaos; buyers, sellers, all types of marine creatures half alive, awaiting the knife, motorized vehicles cruising this way and that, and clueless-picture-taking-tourists. You must be at the ready to move the hell outta the way for fast-moving vehicles. I felt like we were in the way, but managed to blend to take some nice pictures.
Somehow we found the restaurant we wanted somewhere in the outer market. We identified it by the lines. One line stretched out to a cone, which read: this is our customer limit for today, so we found the other one we've heard of: Restaurant Daiwa. We were in a tight space snaking around. The line moved pretty quickly thanks to the line monitor who kept everyone in an organized, tight line, and after about 45 minutes, we were in!
We spent $75 on breakfast. It did include a morning soda and fresh fish that were breathing a couple hours ago. We of course ordered Omikase, or chef's choice. His choices today were: fatty tuna, squid, omelette, tuna, roe, eel, uni (which I have a serious distaste for) shrimp, and an unidentified fish. My first bite, and possibly the best bite of my entire life:
A lil' nugget of wasabi tucked under each fish made my nose tingle a bit. It was a nice touch. He kept 'em coming, and I had a backlog, sushi build up. I don't chew that fast! There is no lingering, people are waiting. We were outta there in less time we were in the line.
At a subway stop, I encountered my first squat toilet and Matthew bought his first vending machine coffee.
We lunched at Isetan department store- not a Sears, more like Bergdorfs, in its basement. It was overwhelming: the people, the options...after wandering in a daze, we got tempura to go- Matthew got pork, me veggies. Who knew pea pod tempura was delicious! We ate on the Department store roof.
Of course I went to the Cat Cafe. It was 1000 yen/ hour, shoes off, slippers on. 20 cats were lounging, hiding, eating, sleeping, scratching posts... I flipped through their Playbill bio book. 2 grumpy (only pet their head, at your own risk) 2 greedy, 3 sporting a red bandana do not feed- kidney disease. Matthew's fave, who he named William Wallace, for obvious reasons, was comical.
While Matthew waited outside I explored the Yen store, which is much like our Dollar Store, but better. I bought sushi erasers.
We stopped for a drink, me Sake, Matthew beer. We had to pay a cover, 250 yen each, that included cabbage with a Worcester-like dipping sauce. Wandered back to Hilton for an overpriced and delicious Gimlet and Japanese whiskey and nodded our heads to the beat of the dj, until we began to nod off. We have been up since 4:30, so by 9:00 we were cooked.