Day 10

In Kanazawa the famous fish market was closed because of a national holiday.

Today we gave it a try in Tokyo.

It was well worth the trip. On this picture you can see a half of tuna in the background and the freshly cut out pieces from the other half, nicely presented for sale.

Tuna is an essential part of Japanese cuisine and is served in many different variations.


The salespeople advertised the quality of their fish shouting and giving samples to try.

The assortment was truly huge.

But the market was much more organized and clean as we expected from a fish market.

Some stands specialized in crabs, shrimp and other crustacean.

The prices for some of them surprised us: 15.000 Yen (appr 150 US-$) per piece (see top right on the picture).

Imagine how much you would have to pay in a restaurant...



These pieces are not made from wood or rhino horns but from fish.

The dried pieces of Bonito tuna are thinly sliced (Katsuobushi) and used as a topping for rice, tofu or other dishes.

It is very tasty and can be stored for a long time.These pieces are not made from wood or rhino horns but from fish.

Back in downtown (Shibuya), this building caught our attention.

Build on a corner between a street and the rail-tracks it appeared to be a small round tower from this point of view.

But it actually reached the next block in depth.

Very often buildings are only as wide as a standard container and as high as 6 stacked on top of each other. The staircases are attached to the outside of the building and there is one entrance door for each floor and apartment.

These tiny homes are the product of enormous real-estate prices and high rents in Tokyo (just as other metropolitan cities).

We did not manage to get a good picture of one of these buildings as we usually saw them riding in the crowded trains trough downtown.


What? - a German hotel in Tokyo?

But the sign did appear to be a bit strange.

'The room for your love'???

This price information solved the riddle: This hotel differentiates between 'rest' (2 hours) and 'stay' (overnight)

These so called 'love hotels' supply shelter for the intimate moments for many Japanese as they have thicker and heavier insulated walls than many Japanese homes with paper thin walls and doors.

For staying overnight in downtown the price appears to be rather inexpensive, we however, rather enjoyed our stay in traditional Japanese hotels.



On our way to the Nagashima family, we experienced the crowdedness of Tokyo's trains during rush hour.

At these times we saw the famous 'pushers' who ensure the efficiency of the trains by pushing as many passengers as possible.

One big advantage, you can't fall!

We were spoiled with great food:

We were served 'Sukiyaki' - thin slices of fine Japanese beef with fish broth, Soya sauce, sugar and lots of vegetables.

The dinner was very delicious and we were absolutely full. When planning our trip we wondered if a European will get enough to eat and weather there is any other food but sushi.

We are now convinced to have answered those questions with a definite `Yes`.



We were honored with a barbecue party which Shigeko and Takahiro hosted in their garden as our farewell party.

They invited family, friends and some employees from their firm.

The Japanese barbecue does not differ too much from western style BBQ except for the amount of seafood and fresh vegetables involved. This shows that they stick to their healthy diet on every possible occasion.

We managed to communicate with hand and feet and international gestures, but sometimes we had to nod even when we did not understood exactly.

The grand finale was celebrated with this group picture.

We were invited to carry the Mikoshi next year again and the children had handcrafted some 'origami' (Japanese paper-folding art) flowers for us.

Saying 'good bye' was very difficult for us. We loved our time in Japan and all the friendly and wonderful people we met.

But we are certain of meeting again, as it is currently quite cheap for Japanese to travel to Europe due to the weak Euro.


Our daily special:

 `The Puzzler`  (Are you a Japan expert?)

New impressions and curiosities as a daily Q & A.

10) What is the object on the photo ?

(Answer: just click on the photo)


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