September 2021. In our Grand Scheme of Travels, Danny and I had planned to be in Japan with Michel. Quod non. So let’s go back to March and April 2013, when my sister Florence, her husband Kenneth, my nephew Leo and my niece Isaline travelled to Tokyo, Hakone and Kyoto. The classic intro to Nippon and a golden opportunity. I grew up with anime such as ‘Dragon Ball‘ and ‘Saint Seiya‘ on television and Japan had been on my wish list since I was little. There’s a lot I don’t remember. But thanks to photos on Facebook, my guidebook and check-ins on Swarm (Foursquare), I can reconstruct parts of that trip.
Surprise! Day 4 follows day 1, day 2 and day 3 (part 1 and part 2). We got up really early to visit the Tsukiji Fish Market or Tsukiji Shijō. The market was the largest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world. It was also one of the largest wholesale supermarkets of any kind.
The market opened on 11 February 1935 as a replacement for an older market that was destroyed in the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake. It was closed on 6 October 2018, with operations moving to the new Toyosu Market located just 2.4 kilometers (1.5 mi) away.
The market was located in Tsukiji in central Tokyo between the Sumida River and the upmarket Ginza shopping district. When the inner wholesale market was operational, it offered only restricted access to visitors. While the inner wholesale market has closed, the outer retail market, restaurants, and associated restaurant supply stores remain operational, and the area is still a major tourist attraction for both domestic and overseas visitors.
After touring this special sight and site we had a sushi breakfast nearby.
We stayed in the Ginza area of Chūō district. Ginza is a popular upscale shopping area of Tokyo, with numerous internationally renowned department stores, boutiques, restaurants and coffeehouses located in its vicinity. It is considered to be one of the most expensive, elegant, and luxurious streets in the world.
That day we also visited the Zōjō-ji Temple. San’en-zan Zōjō-ji is the main temple of the Jōdo-shū (‘Pure Land’) Chinzei sect of Buddhism in the Kantō region.
Zōjō-ji is notable for its relationship with the Tokugawa clan, the rulers of Japan during the Edo period, with six of the Tokugawa shōguns being buried in the Taitoku-in Mausoleum in the temple grounds. Also, the temple’s Sangadetsumon (main gate) is the oldest wooden building in Tokyo, dating from 1622. The original buildings, temples, mausoleums and the cathedral were destroyed by fire, natural disasters or air raids during World War II.
It is located in the Shiba neighborhood of Minato. The Shiba Park is built around the temple, with the Tokyo Tower standing beside it. In 2015 a Treasure Gallery was opened on the underground level of the Daiden (great hall), and it currently houses paintings of Kanō Kazunobu and a model of the Taitoku-in Mausoleum.
Later that day, we went to Tokyo Tower. The Tōkyō Tawā, officially called Nippon Denpatō or Japan Radio Tower is a communications and observation tower in the Shiba-koen district. At 332.9 meters (1,092 ft), it is the second-tallest structure in Japan. The structure is an Eiffel Tower-inspired lattice tower that is painted white and international orange to comply with air safety regulations.
Built in 1958, the tower’s main sources of income are tourism and antenna leasing. Over 150 million people have visited the tower.
Footstone, a four-story building directly under the tower, houses museums, restaurants, and shops. Departing from there, guests can visit two observation decks. The two-story Main Deck is at 150 meters (490 ft), while the smaller Top Deck reaches a height of 249.6 meters (819 ft).
The tower is repainted every five years, taking a year to complete the process.
Added in 1961 the tower has transmission antennae used for radio and television broadcasting and now broadcasts signals for Japanese media outlets such as NHK, TBS, and Fuji TV. The height of the tower was not suitable for Japan’s planned terrestrial digital broadcasting planned for July 2011 for the Tokyo area. A taller digital broadcasting tower, known as Tokyo Skytree, was completed on 29 February 2012.
Tokyo Tower has become a prominent landmark in the city, and frequently appears in media set in Tokyo.
Very important, we went to Tokyo Station to get our JR Rail Pass. Tokyo Station is the main inter-city rail terminal in Tokyo. It is the busiest station in Japan, with more than 4,000 trains arriving and departing daily, and the fifth-busiest in Eastern Japan in terms of passenger throughput.
On average, more than 500,000 people use Tokyo Station every day. The station is also served by many regional commuter lines of Japan Railways, as well as the Tokyo Metro network.
That night we had a traditional Japanese, non-sushi dinner at Jomon in Roppongi.
Roppongi is a district of Minato, famous for the affluent Roppongi Hills development area and popular night club scene. A few foreign embassies are located near Roppongi, and the night life is popular with locals and foreigners alike. It is in the central part of Tokyo, south of Akasaka and north of Azabu.
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