Tsukiji Outer Market

Hiya~!

Its been a while since I’ve written a blog post.. Mostly because I am just uninspired and lazy. Partially because I forgot I had a blog.

Well~~~~ I’m back and I’ve got some photos from Tsukiji I want to share! I can’t believe it was my first time to come here even though I have lived in Tokyo over a year… Fail.

So getting there isn’t too bad. Since it is in Tokyo and it is a tourist attraction, there are going to be tons of signs in English as well as Japanese. I took the train to Tsukiji station and just followed the signs to “Tsukiji Market”. To be honest, just follow the crowds…. everyone else is also headed there to buy fresh seafood or stuff their faces like me!

So I don’t know if this is like an entrance.. but it was where all the people were going so.. LET’S GO! It was so crowded.. I went at around 11 AM on a Wednesday morning (12/28) but I feel like it is part of the experience of Tsukiji outer market. I am sure you can plan your way through the many many stalls, but the easiest way to tackle this is to just go forth and let your eyes guide you. See what you like.. Stop.. Eat.. and keep going.

You will find stalls with everything. From vegetables like fresh wasabi roots to fresh live seafood. Since it is almost New Year’s in Japan, we saw a lot of stalls with “Katsunoko” aka Herring Roe. It is a popular side dish for Osechi, New Year’s meal in Japan.

First stop, we found a stand with oysters and scallops. We got two fresh raw oysters, a grilled butter scallop, and of course some steamed oysters too. They were huge! Yummy!

Just keep walking.. Follow the crowds.. Let your eyes guide you. Trust me. If you go in circles…well … I hope you don’t. haha

Next stop: Sweet tamagoyaki on a stick. They are 100 yen/ stick so about $1 ish. I will warn you, these are sweet. They are SO fluffy and best eaten warm. They also have a side area where you can buy full tamagoyakis to take home and eat with your family. I highly suggest just waiting in line for the sticks. The line for this place was long but it moves quickly. Just go up to the cashier when it is your turn and say how many sticks you want. I wish I got more!!!!

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It was crowded anywhere you went but just keep moving and look for more snacks!

Ever go on YouTube to watch videos of a place before you go there? Well…I did that for Tsukiji because I didn’t know what to expect. Every video I had watched had this stall. I was desperately searching for it and I’m glad my nose picked up the scent of the buttery uni and hotate(scallop) They are a bit pricey.. But look at all that uni that gets piled on top!!

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To the left of the uni/scallop sticks stand is a “kani miso” stand. I guess kani miso is like the gizzards/brains of the crab? It is definitely something you have to get used to if it is your first time trying it. It has a briny taste.. I grew up on it so I had to get one. But.. 700 yen for one was a bit much..  They were first steamed and blow-toarched.

dsc00910 These 3 are actually all like together. So first, get the scallop with uni, kani miso, then get some fresh uni straight from its shell. They had a variety of uni to choose from. They had some from Russia some from Hokkaido. Dam.. they were pricey though. I wish I didn’t spend 1500 yen ~$15 USD…but YOLO. I just had to try it.


So… Tsukiji is mostly a fish/seafood market but there are fruit and vegetable stands as well as sweets stands!

dsc00939Time for some Strawberry Daifuku and white strawberries! Have you ever had a white strawberry? I had never seen them til I came to Japan…but omg they are so much sweeter!!

Lastly, there are tons of shops with kitchenware and knives.. Be careful you will be searching and have the hardest time choosing which to get.. BUY THEM ALL!!!

So.. I am sad I didn’t eat any kaisendon or magurodon or unidon or sushi (~~don=rice bowl)

Maybe next time 🙂

 

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Enoshima Island adventures

If you didn’t already know, I love traveling and exploring new places. So when a family friend asked what I wanted to do on our day off, I asked if we could explore the tiny island of Enoshima.

Ever since coming to Japan, I have developed a weird obsession with manhole covers. I always post them on my Instagram (@travelsinwonderland) with the hashtag #おすいinwonderland When I found so many in Enoshima, I knew it was going to be a great trip!


Enoshima is about 1 hour away from Tokyo Station. I live about 30 minutes away from central Tokyo, so it took me 1 hour and a half. It cost me about 1220 yen ($12 USD) one way and 3 trains later, I had arrived at Katase- Enoshima Station.

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Here is the route that I took. I love how easy it is to navigate around Japan using public transportation.

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This is right outside of Katase-Enoshima Station. It was a bit gloomy the day I went. Okay.. I admit.. I took this photo of the station as I was heading home at around 5:30 pm ish.. (:

From this station, just follow the crowds.. This usually works.. But my friend had one place in mind that she wanted to take me for lunch. The restaurant was a Japanese style Italian restaurant called Il Chianti. They had all kinds of pizzas and pastas and wines, but we decided to order the specialty of Enoshima: Shirasu pizza. Shirasu are baby sardines that are popular in Enoshima. The taste of the shirasu pizza was not fishy at all. Actually, I didn’t notice the taste of the shirasu while I consumed almost half the pizza. To be safe, we also ordered a more familiar type of pizza: Prosciutto with arugala. Oh, and we started with some garlic clams. Omg, it was so garlic-y and so delicious. I just wish they had served some baguette or something on the side to soak up all the garlic sauce.

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Shirasu Pizza

After lunch, we went to explore the island of Enoshima. There are two ways to get to the island: Walking across the bridge or catching a ferry ride to the island. The ferry ride is 400 yen (~$4). We had just finished a huge, filling lunch, so we decided walk it off.

Once you cross the bridge, about 5 minutes, you reach the Torii. Usually toriis are red and made of wood, but the torii in Enoshima is actually made of bronze and has a green color now.

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Enoshima Torii

I’m no Enoshima expert, but what I did was follow the crowd. Oddly, we kept climbing uphill. Everywhere we went was all uphill. P.S. If you do come and check out Enoshima, bring lots of sunblock.. or protective sun gear! 🙂

After climbing up many stairs, we decided we were done climbing up stairs in the heat. Ha! Luckily, Enoshima island is smart and built escalators for the lazy people like me! All you have to pay is 1000 yen (~$10) and it is an all day pass to ride all the escalators AND gives you entry to many attractions like gardens and the Sea Candle (aka Enoshima Tower).


Once you climb up about 3 escalators, you finally reach the shrines! Purify yourself with the water at this fountain. Then, it is time to collect all the small change you got in the bottom of your bag and pray! Toss some yen in, bow twice, clap twice and end with one final deep bow… Now, just hope your wishes all come true! Be careful though, Enoshima is a “love” or “couples” island.. I accidentally almost prayed at a couples/love shrine.. I don’t even have a boyfriend.. lol jokes on me for not reading the signs.

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From here, my phone’s memory space was low..because #aliceproblems so many things I saw were missing..

Next, we made it to the Sea Candle! I love love love going up towers. The views are always my favorite and luckily I have no fear of heights! The Sea Candle isn’t really too high.. It is only 59.8 M tall and 119.6 M above sea level. Baby tower size! If you got the Eno Pass, it is included! Take the elevator up, and it will take you to a viewing room that is indoors. Look for the rooftop stairs that will take you up a little higher with unobstructed views and a cool ocean breeze. If you do go to Enoshima in the summer, it is nice to just enjoy the cool refreshing breeze and relax before heading down.


After the Sea Candle, its time to hike back down after “climbing” up so many flights escalators. Here you will find many freshly caught seafood restaurants and tiny shops selling gifts to bring back to your friends and family. I wish we could have stopped for some fresh seafood, but we were all so full still! Darn it.

Soon, you’ll reach the opposite edge of the island where you will find tide pools with many families trying to catch tiny fish and crabs.


Enoshima Cave

There are two “caves” in Enoshima. It was nice to go inside because it stays cool during the summer and warm during the winters. There is an entry fee, but if you have the Eno Pass it is included as well. In cave 1, people come to see the birthplace of Enoshima shrine and pray.

In cave two, you can make a wish to the dragon and read more about why Enoshima is also known as a love island. When you reach the dragon, make a wish! If the light flashes twice, it means your wish will come true. Lucky for me, my wish will come true! I hope.. haha.


It’s finally time to go home!!! Boy, today was a long and hot day. I got sunburnt but had a great time. Since we were all exhausted from exploring and walking around all day, we decided to take the ferry back. It cost 400 yen and was a very short ride, about 7 minutes. In the ferry, you’ll see many jet skis whizzing past you doing all kinds of crazy things you wish you were doing.


Did I mention how there were many Hawaiian things in Enoshima? There’s even the popular Eggs N Things there! The lines were insane.. So, before catching the train back to Tokyo, we cooled off and relaxed at Aloha Table with refreshing, fresh watermelon juice and Black Salt soft serve. Both, I highly recommend if they are both still there!

And, of course I can’t explore anywhere without getting souvenirs for myself. I love Hello Kitty, so I always collect the gotochi items they have for every city in Japan. (:

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FINALLY, it was time to go home. There are two wants to get back to Tokyo. You can take the cheaper route and ride the local trains from the station to Tokyo, or you can take the Odakyu Limited Express Romance Car for an extra 620 yen. You will ride a special express train direct to Shinjuku where there is free wifi onboard, food and drink available for purchase in the carts, and comfortable, reserved seats.

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I hope you will be able to explore Enoshima some day!

xoxo,

alice