Tokyo’s Late Night Bars! World’s Largest Fish Market! Sushi For Breakfast! Ninja Warriors! Tokyo Lights!

Welcome To Tokyo!

Here is the beautiful night time view of the Kabucki-Cho district of Tokyo. One reason you see such an amazing skyline in Tokyo – because everyone lives on top of each other! Here’s a fascinating fact: 150 million Japanese people – half the population of the US – live on an island the size of Montana!

That’s why you see vertical towers of lights throughout Tokyo, because these are restaurants and clubs on floor after floor – taking care of Japanese clients mostly. It is a fascinating world that I long to visit again, having been lucky enough to go four times already…

Tokyo has some of the busiest subways in the world, but they are all spotlessly clean, and surprisingly quiet – in fact, they have a system for boarding trains – people STAND IN THE CORRECT ROWS waiting to board. I mean – C’MON, imagine that in New York…

There are many sides to Tokyo – beautiful temples…

And lots of places to have fun and bathe in neon…

I was fascinated with Tokyo’s nightlife and neon – especially in the party district of Kabuki-Cho, near Shinjuku Station. It’s a world of lights – and beautiful imagery:


COSPLAY!

And I love the colorful characters of Tokyo – like these Cosplay girls hanging out in the Akihabara neighborhood of Tokyo. The Japanese do it so well – Cosplay, short for “costume play”, is a type of performance art in which participants don costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea.

Characters are often drawn from popular fiction in Japan, but recent trends have included American cartoons and science fiction. You can also find Cosplay cafes, where you can sit among the dressed-up characters, or be served by them. Either way, it’s a unique experience.

DOUBLE DECKER CONVEYOR BELT SUSHI!

And I LOVED THIS. Kaiten-Sushi, or revolving sushi is very popular in Tokyo. When you get inside the restaurant, you are guided to a counter seat. In front of you will be a conveyor belt with sushi circling around. You can chose any sushi plate you like. Keep the plates on your table, because when you finish eating, the waitress will count up the plates to determine your bill – but it’s very inexpensive.

I know of three different conveyor belt sushi bars, and they are where I go to eat whenever I am in Tokyo…

Golden Gui!

This is a fascinating area of Tokyo – a tiny little neighborhood next to the party district of Kabuki-Cho – Golden Gui consists of hundreds of TINY BARS – and I mean TINY – most seating 6-8 people, many with different themes…

Like this one that celebrates Japanese manga drawing – I filmed there with Alex Sim-Wise, who was my European Correspondent – a terrific talent. These tiny bars have one bar downstairs, and another that is up a narrow staircase…

Once inside, you can order beer, whiskey and small snack plates of food…


Fish Market!

TSUKIJI! TSUKIJI! TSUKIJI!

The world’s largest fish market is in Tokyo – and I have had the pleasure of filming there and eating there as well!

The market is actually a breeze to get to: located near two different subway stops. It’s a mixture of fish stalls selling the day’s catch, and sushi restaurants serving up the same…

The “inner market” is the licensed wholesale market, where the auctions and most of the processing of the fish take place, and where licensed wholesale dealers (approximately 900 of them) operate small stalls.

There were plenty of places to buy finger food – such as these fish sausages on a stick – which I was all set to buy, but got distracted by a series of tiny tiny tiny food stalls that were serving all of the fresh fish being cut up inside the market.

So, the process is easy: find a stall with an open seat, sit down, and then order something. What? Can’t understand the signs? Well, there’s not much you can do about that – there isn’t much english being spoken here…but what you DO have are friendly people who are honestly interested in helping you order – no matter how difficult it might be!

The “outer market” is a mixture of wholesale and retail shops that sell Japanese kitchen tools, restaurant supplies, groceries, and seafood, and many restaurants, especially sushi restaurants.

I ate breakfast at the fish market three days in a row – three days of sushi, sushi, sushi. Each stall is operated by master sushi chefs…and older Japanese women who, in my case, served me a bowl filled with yellowtail, sea urchin and rice. They spoke NO english, there were no english menus, and they were, I think, afraid that I was ordering wrong – and since I didn’t speak Japanese, and they didn’t speak english, they just yelled louder at me!

At the end of the conversation I had my bowl of fresh fish and urchin, and they just laughed and laughed and laughed…


On A Clear Day You Can See Mt. Fuji!

I still haven’t taken the train to Mt. Fuji, which is just over an hour away from Tokyo, but one night at my hotel in the Shinjuku district, on the 20th floor reception area, I looked out and saw Mt. Fuji in all its majesty…

The views of Tokyo at night are amazing because of the neon – like being in a super-sized version of Times Square…

And each neighborhood of Tokyo has it’s own entertainment area – you’ll know it when you see the walls and walls of lights stretching out in front of you…


I mentioned Cosplay – and here we are filming the sequence with our talent…

BEHOLD KABUCKI-CHO!

We stayed in the Shinjuku district, home to the world’s busiest train station…and home to the Kabuki-Cho entertainment district, bustling and full of life, lights, and lots of crazy businesses like this one:

These businesses are NOT for foreigners – in many cases, foreigners can’t even go in – but all the lights are fun and crazy…making for a a visual feast at night!

Daytime Tokyo is much different than night – here is the view from my room, looking down at the Shinjuku train station, and north toward Kabuki-Cho and beyond – and the direction I would be walking:

It is this Tokyo that I like to explore, and always do it during the day, when I can take pictures and stroll the neighborhoods, which are much less hectic than the nightlife…one day I walked in the direction of the picture above – through a sleepy Kabucki-Cho and north…coming across fun businesses like this curry shop – you know, for “curry in hurry”:

I also came across a small shop that sold me delicious fried beef cakes:

I also came across ads like this one – anyone want to tell me what they are trying to sell here?

VENDING MACHINE MANIA!

You should also know that there are vending machines EVERYWHERE in Tokyo – I mean on every single block, many times in packs like this:

They are filled with water, iced coffee and various drinks – like this COFFEE JELLY-

It’s like coffee jello…fun and refreshing in a “Coffee jelly” sort of way: also, there are virtually NO garbage cans in Tokyo except where the vending machines are located – nobody walks and drinks in Tokyo, you buy your beverage at the vending machine and you consume it there…you won’t find anyone eating or drinking on the subways or streets either…that is one reason it is so clean in the city…


The streets of Tokyo are a mixture of small shops, restaurants and lots and lots of vending machines…and you can wander off the main roads for hours…

I love Tokyo. It is a city full of the nicest people, the brightest lights, the freshest fish, and the coolest Ninjas!

Yes, I love Ninjas – I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Tokyo four times in the last three years – each time to attend the taping of “Sasuke” – known on G4 of course as “Ninja Warrior”.

MT. MIDORIAMA! The “Ninja Warrior” set is amazing to see, and here is what it looks like to be on the set at night, when logs are set ablaze to provide warmth at 4am – as filming continues all night long!

A great way to end a visit to one of my favorite cities!



Categories: Alex Sim-Wise, Food, Food Review, Recipes, Restaurants, Tokyo!, Travel, Travel Memoir, TV Show, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 reply

Trackbacks

  1. “At Home” Conveyor Belt Sushi! Video Shows How A Train Set Can Turn Your House Into A Sushi Bar! – johnrieber

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.