Tokyo, Day 3
How could we not come to Tokyo and see the Sumo wrestlers? We took the train out to where they are located. The trains are very civilized. Packed with people but there is an etiquette which is followed. People actually stand in line to go up the escalator vs cramming in with hopes to get up to the top first. The stations are clean too.
There is the top tier of sumo wrestlers that get paid and then there is a second tier that lives and works at the stables but do not get paid. The lower tier waits on the top tier sumo wrestlers with the hopes of becoming one of them over time. The whole sport is fascinating. Six events a year. The largest sumo wrestler ever weighed in at around 600 pounds. The sport takes place inside a small ring. You can not step outside the ring or fall down or you lose. They are seriously strong big men. Once you get over the shock of seeing them you just watch. First they bow to each other.
Then they ram into each other in order for one of them to take the other one out. They also do a lot of shuffling around and exercising watching and waiting for their turns. The floor is dirt.
After a few hours they all stretch together. It was wild.
We then went over to the oldest shrine in Tokyo called the Senso-Ji located in Asakusa. In front of the temple is a long stretch of stores filled with food and gifts. Kind of shlocky.
In front of the shrine is a large square box filled with incense that people take in before they walk up to the shrine. Behind the glass is a service going on.
This is the view from the top of the stairs. People put money in the box in the front of this photo.
We then went over to Kappabashi-Dori which is a long street filled with kitchen supply stores. If I had time I would have strolled for hours.
This store carried all the signs you might want for your restaurant. I should have brought this home.
We then went over to the Ueno area where there is a street market. I was looking for a particular stall but instead we just bought some of these sushi sandwiches. Rice stuffed into a wrap of nori with a little fish on top or stuffed inside.
We got a variety. They are really good and inexpensive.
Our next stop was the Tokyo train station to have lunch. We picked up some of these Hi-chews which are Japanese starbursts.
Rokurinsha is the noodle shop we went to which is located in an area of the Tokyo train station called Ramen Way. There was a line but it moves quickly.
Once you get to the front of the line an attendant has you put your cash in this vending machine and choose what dish you want. Then you get a ticket. Once they sit you down you give your ticket to another attendant and they bring you your soup. In essence no cash changes hands with anyone who works there.
The noodles were really good and seriously filling. Thick noodles that you dip into a bowl of broth with pieces of pork and vegetables. I got an added bonus of a rich deep yellow soft boiled egg.
Here is a guy making noodles in one of the other shops.
Our next stop was the Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art. The building is fantastic. No pictures allowed but I did get this one of Fred and Jessica sitting in these super comfy chairs. There were a few exhibits and then of course the permanent collection. They are pretty strict about which one you see first. Very orderly. The first exhibit was around the merging of music and art. Each of the exhibits were so well curated. You had to follow a certain path which made so much sense as the exhibit unfolds. Really glad we went to this museum.
Back to the hotel for a few hours of rest and relaxation which I had really yet not had. Sorely needed.
High on my stuff-to-bring-back list would be bad-ass Japanese kitchen knives — some of the best of which are descended from the family lines of craftspeople who used to make samurai swords and shifted to kitchen knives during the Meiji period.
Everything seems so orderly and tidy!I saw Emily tweet they have people that push passengers inside the subway. Did you actually see that?
Very orderly. We saw the people who push you on. Lucky for us our train was not that full so we did not need a pusher
It looks like there are guard rails between the passengers and the tracks, right? We need those in New York.
There are guard rails and we do need those in NYC