We did the "One Day Tokyo" trip today, which was amazing! An early start for the Tsujuki Fish Market (where we saw fish still alive, fish frozen dead, fish chopped up, and fish ready to buy and eat!). There were all sorts of fish there - including lobster, squid, octopus and tuna, which I had no idea were so big! Turns out we weren't supposed to go into the tuna section, but we're like shadows, and went there anyway >:D
After that we had a stroll to a temple, the first one that we've seen properly so far. The monks were holding a service, it was all very quiet and sombre. We soon moved onto Ginza, which seemed to have both rough and ridiculously affluent areas. We were there far too early for anything to be open but did manage to find our way into the basement of a department store which sold the absolutely tastiest smelling food. At half ten, the rest of Japan opened; we headed for Ito-Ya, a luxury stationery store. I dithered for an hour trying to decide whether to buy some high-quality Japanese paper.
Decision made, we tried our luck at the Sony store, which was unfortunately closed! :'( They had free computer games and everything! Not to be daunted, we made our way to the International Forum where we purchased bento and ate them by what at first seemed to be an alarmingly sentient carpark (it turned out it was just the announcement that played warning pedestrians that a car was coming)
Having eaten our fill, it was on to the Imperial Palace gardens where we took the opportunity to capture some photographs of pigeons. Turns out that we lucked out - we caught glimpses of the Emperor approaching the palace in his high-security convoy. We then wandered around until we eventually found the East Gardens, where we made it to the other side of the palace grounds; from there it was onto the Tokyo Museum of Modern Arts (some fantastic pictures) and finally round another park. The street was lined with buskers as there's some sort of punk-gig going on later this evening. In the crowd will be three punk-loving sumo stars, who we spotted on their way to the stadium!
Feet on the point of falling off, we somehow got on the tube, and it was back to the hostel and straight onto the bed. It's been so humid today that the aircon and a chance to rest the weary feet is worth a special mention.
It's off for dinner as soon as these new photos are uploaded. Panda-monium in particular was successful after our day in the zoo!