Japan Trip Day 6

This morning we woke up in our little capsule, and actually slept very well. We grabbed all our junk quietly since the Australian guys came in pretty late (they were quiet) and I didn’t want to wake them up at 8 am =). I packed everything up in the common room and we left the big backpack in storage. The subway was jam packed; it’s the first I’ve seen it as busy as advertised. There were no pushers shoving people into trains, but everyone took it upon themselves to cram in. We rode to the Tsukiji fish market. It’s the famous raw fish market and you’re supposed to get there very early to see it ALL but I just didn’t feel like waking myself and the Zuzz for fish. It was very cool nontheless and I’m not sure it would be any more interesting at 5AM. I suppose the only thing we missed seeing was the actual auctioning, but who cares since we got to see the biggest wharehouse in the world FULL of vendors selling every possible kind of fish or sea product. It was truly incredible, and Zoe really enjoyed it. I could tell all the vendors were about done with their days as it wasn’t too busy and they started to get packing up as we were finished. Many of them were just chatting and got a kick out of Zoe’s interest in fish…a few let her play with the tank bubblers and another group of guys bought her some doughnuts. She was a riot with her ‘thank you’ and they all just laughed. She seems to really attract older ‘grandpa’ aged men and takes to them well. After hanging out with the fish for a couple hours we walked around the block to a Japanese garden that is the detached palace garden and used to be just for the royalty. It was neat, but not as cool as I thought it would be. There was a really neat lake with teahouse in the center and a tree that was 300 years old. It was a large garden so there was lots of open space which is not what I envision in a Japanese garden, though it had all the other aspects and is supposed to be one of the nice ones that the locals really like because of the unique openness. Anyway, the Umi – plum trees were just starting to bloom so that made it all worthwhile. Plus, there was a huge field of bright yellow flox flowers. Gorgeous. Walking in the garden made us both quite hungry so we mosied back to the fish market to the restaurant area for some real Japanese sushi! I had been saving up some of my budget just for this and it turned out to be worth it. There were lots of tiny sushi bars all in these few little alleys…some had long lines out the door that I still don’t quite understand. Prices were no different. We chose one we could sit at right away and I got the ‘economy’ combo plate plus some rice and tamago for Zoe. It was great, and I discovered that Zoe only likes the sushi rice if it’s wrapped in the seaweed; she wouldn’t eat it from the bowl. That is until she chose to dump the fish-egg sushi into the rice. She takes after Bryan and enjoyed the mini fish eggs in her rice. We got on the subway to check out a second Japanese garden and discovered it was closed on Monday…so were 2 museums I was interested in seeing on the last day. I guess Monday it’s more common for things to close. Oh well, they were just ‘if we had time’ and we really didn’t; it would’ve been rushed. We went back to the hostel to pick up our bag and hit the train toward the airport. It took longer than I expected, so it was fortuitous that the garden was closed. Our flight home was uneventful except for the extreme fog here in Seoul; the pilot had to go around on his first landing attempt which was surprising to me since he even announced that the autopilot would be landing. Immigration and customs was super-fast. We even had a nice 1/2 hour before our bus to pick up some KFC for dinner at 10PM. We both slept on the bus ride, so now that we’re home we are kind of awake. I’m fading fast, though. I’ll post pictures soon. What a great trip!

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