Day 2 in Tokyo started off with tons of promise and did not disappoint. First on the docket was a fish market tour along with plenty of food samples. This experience afforded us a second chance to experience Tokyo rush hour on the train which did not get any better since last night. We met our tour guide (Yuma) and discovered that we’d have a nice private tour since no one else signed up. We started in the new fish market (been open 6 months) and wondered the stalls of fish- primarily for sale to restaurant owners in Tokyo with a few coming in from Hong Kong and Hawaii. We didn’t get to experience the famous tuna auction as it’s been recently made harder to observe as an outsider. The new fish market was huge, 3 large buildings with 6-7 floors and what seemed to be loads of football fields wide and deep. The market also had vegetables and tons of other stores for fish related items- including tons of fancy knife shops.
We left to take a bus to the old fish market to begin the food tasting. We were pleasantly surprised with an overwhelming amount of delicious food. Debbie didn’t eat a big breakfast though I did, but that didn’t stop me from getting in the game and “appreciating” the food before us.
First, we had some sort of chicken and rice bowl. On top of the chicken was a runny egg and the chicken/rice was just so moist and full of flavor. I believe it was called okayo don and if we find it again out in the streets we’ll certainly be looking to get an additional serving. It was a pretty heavy start but Debbie’s favorite dish of the day.
Second we had a MASSIVE pork shumai. Similar to a dumpling, the shumai was full of rich flavor- pork, ginger, onion, and I’m sure loads of other things. It was less than $1.50 and was awesome. It was easily the largest shumai or dumpling I’ve ever seen. Another great move for us.
Next, we had tomago- a sweet egg omelet often eaten as a palette cleanser. We’ve had these served before cold or room temperature and often served over rice, but this was warm and in its own serving and also awesome. This was the only item served at this family owned food stall and we took a picture should anyone find themselves there.
Fourth, we FINALLY got in the sushi game. Our tour guide hadn’t eaten anything during the tour but finally got the same thing we did. We each got a combination of blue fin tuna sashimi – some leaner tuna, some fatty tuna (our favorite), and some tuna collar (least favorite, guides favorite). It was so fresh and awesome. We did receive minor heartbreaking news that salmon isn’t too common in Japan 😦
Last, we finished with the dessert stops of the tour. We got some matcha ice cream (disappointing) and some mochi (awesome) to cap off the tour. We were adequately stuffed and really enjoyed our trip with Yuma. It was super helpful to have someone lead us through the food stalls so we knew what to eat and Yuma did a perfect job.
Post gluttony, we made our way to the MariCart location. After agreeing to give them a review online for a discount (which we need to do still), we looked through the costume options to find our daily attire. We were heartbroken to find that it was not going to provide any options with real Mario cart so Debbie went with Goofy and I went with Cookie Monster. We were paired with another couple from the US (LA) also celebrating their honeymoon and met Pablo, our Spanish tour guide to take us through Tokyo for a few hours. The experience was awesome- we were driving go-karts at nearly 40 mph throughout the streets of the biggest city of the world for a few hours. We made our way to various sites of the city (the 2nd tallest building int the world, the Imperial Palace, etc.) and every time we were stopped, there were tons of smiles, laughs, and locals wanting to take our picture. You’d have suspected that we were famous. Our 2-hour drive ended back in the store and we got 70 photos from the tour guide of the group.
We made our way back to the hotel to rest up and prepare for our night time activity and dinner with our friends from Vanderbilt and enjoy a bottle of champagne from the hotel for our honeymoon. Even though it’s only 4:30 pm, today was awesome and we have equally high expectations for tonight. I can only hope that the rest of the days on the trip are close to this exciting and entertaining!
Here’s to the rest of the adventures headed our way in Tokyo!