Monday, 7 February 2011

Tokyo is big, Mt. Fuji is bigger!

We've had a bit of down time this afternoon so as you can see I've put up a few photo's taken over the last few days. I'm sure we'll put the rest up on facebook at some point.

Since our last post we have been to the Tokyo fish market, visited the imperial palace and are now in Mt. Fuji.

We were up early to go and see the largest fish market in the world. Arriving at 8am, we found the market was still in full flow (despite having started at 5am!) and it was insane! The whole place was a sea of people and hundreds of little carts driving boxes of fish or ice to and fro, almost running us over in the process! The main hall is a large temperature controlled warehouse where fish that had just been landed is sold of to anyone who wants to buy them. They had every type of fish imaginable from tiger prawns to tiger sharks, it was the real business end of the fishing industry and there was no escaping getting a few splatters of guts on the way through. After our fishy experience we decided we needed some refreshment and so had some green tea in a traditional Japanese tea house.

After the fish market we took a trip up to the imperial palace via Ginza. Ginza is described as Tokyo's answer to 5th Avenue and they're not wrong. The whole area is littered with designer makes including Mont Blanc, Prada, Burberry, Cartier, Jimmy Choo and many more. We decided it was way out of our price range and pushed on to the imperial palace. The palace grounds were very impressive but unfortunately the palace itself was closed to the public so we headed back to the hostel.

On Sunday we began our journey to Mt. Fuji, specifically the town of Kawagutchiko which is in the foothills of Mt. Fuji. The journey was quite straight forward in the end and only took a couple of hours, although the main station in Tokyo was huge and full of people. Thankfully the station staff were very helpful and made sure we knew where we were going. Having arrived in Kawagutchiko we were promptly picked up and taken to our hostel. The room we have is incredible! Picture the most Japanese room you can and you're halfway there. We have paper walls, sleep on the floor, the works.

This morning (MY BIRTHDAY!) we got up at a reasonable time and climbed Mt. Tenjo to get a truly breathtaking view of Mt. Fuji. Having worn ourselves out from our climb we are having some down time and then off to the local bar tonight and then on to a traditional Japanese restaurant for birthday celebrations. As it says on the beer cans here, "Brewed for good times!"

- Phil

A few photos of Tokyo and Mt. Fuji