Monday 26th November 2012
Lovely day today but I had to be ready to leave the house for 5.45am I failed and only managed to get out for 6.30am.
I really took my time despite the jet lag wearing me off. Once again Manu wrote an itinerary down for me and the Lonely Planet helped a lot too.
I had my fully working Canon AE-1 around my neck ready to for the new city adventure.
I also took my Canon EOS 600D with 18-200mm and Canon EF 50mm f1.4
I made my way to Kami-Itabashi and took the first train to Ikebukuro St. on the Tobu Tojo Line, followed by a train from Ikebukuro to Ginza via the Marunouchi Line.
I obviously got lost plus it was the Metro and not the JR line. I bought an All-day ticket and realized I didn’t even need to use the metro to get there. I was vexed I wasted money for nothing. I couldn’t bare the cost so I went to Ginza through the Metro. I asked the dude at the counter at the train station and saw I was completely lost so he let me in for free. We just came to 7 am. Looking at the world waking up was beautiful.
After taking the Hibuya Line I arrived at Tsukiji, I didn’t realize I had a long way to walk but it didn’t bother me as I was enjoying myself with therapeutic photographic shooting. It took me a while to find the market but after a while I asked someone and he said to me that the market opens at 9.30am for customers.
Made my way through the aisles of restaurants and shops dodging the fishermen in karts.
I had to put my Canon FD 24mm f2.8 on my Canon AE-1 seeing the beautiful chaotic atmosphere so I could pick up everything. I got lost in the market and started to feel hungry even if it was 10.30am but I eventually gave up and went on a quest to find the legendary “Sushi Zenmai”. I was getting frustrated as I couldn’t find it and it was 11.15 already. I lost patience and asked a dude who sent me to the other side of the market and asked another dude and said it was behind this building. I managed to understand with his accent (it was awesome haha) so wandered outside the market and found a little alley where a lady welcomed the customers outside shouting Sushi Zenmai something-something-something* (in japanese) which I never understood but made my way inside to see if the legend was true.
I was welcomed by applause lol (it was surreal) then a waiter showed me to my seat and asked me if I wanted green tea to which I responded yes. He was so polite I was very taken back by the professionalism and the amount of care they put in for the customers to experience the best service possible. He went back to the kitchen and brought me a hot towel before I start. He then took his time to show me the different things on the menu.
I ordered Salmon nigiri (my intention was to eat 1 or 2 plates just to try) tuna roll and a prawns nigiri, I ended up eating 12 plates it was so delicious. The legend was true these were the best sushi I have ever eaten, straight from the market. The salmon literally melted in my mouth.
I fell in love straight away with the place. A guy with 2 Canon EOS 5D Mark II came took picture of the restaurant chefs and staff. He stopped by me and asked if the AE-1 was mine I nodded yes he smiled and said to me: “You are good, you’re good!!!!!” I was well pleased.
I then left the restaurant taking pics of it with my film camera and decided to make my way to the Observatory as per Lonely Planet.
I tried for 2 hours to find the Dentsu Observatory asking many people but no luck. I had to call it a day so I made my way back to Tokyo as it was 13:10. Done my prayer in the train in my seat.
Arrived in Tokyo Ikebukuro from the back exit and it started to rain so I ran into BIC Camera and spent a good 30 mins walking around looking at anything that could be interesting. Left the building in the heavy rain (that I clearly underestimated) and had to hide again but this time under a bridge. I stopped before to take some city shots with my phone and camera.
Under the bridge I asked a guy instructions to go to Ikebukuro, Raza Malaysian restaurant to see if they would be able to direct me to the Musala where the famous Imaam Abdullah Taqy resides, but in vain!!!! I spent 3 hours asking about 20 different people if they knew this restaurant. I had to walk in this heavy rain in the back streets of naughty clubs :S.
After 3 hours of fighting the rain and streets and maps I finally gave up and started to make my way home. I was very sad and disappointed for not finding the musala nor meeting Imaam Abdullah Taqy.
I stopped in the bakery on my way to the flat in Kami-Itabashi to get a few doughnuts.
Went home as my friend left his door open (that’s what I love about Japan it’s so safe) went in took my soaked clothes off and prayed Asr and Maghrib and went to bed straight away.
Apart from Tsukiji Market it wasn’t a good day!! Woke up at 7.30pm and Manu called to let me know that a few friends from his Uni were coming. So I tidied quickly! Their presence cheered me up 🙂
Off to bed at 12:55am