Kanechiwa, a common greeting and (I think!) literally translated as “good day/good afternoon”.
Japan is amazing… and Tokyo is an absolutely incredible city! Today I had the great privilege of being introduced to Tokyo, Japan’s capital since 1868 and the Meiji Revolution. My American hosts graciously secured a local to act as my tour guide for the day who provided a perfect combination of social connection, historical context, and fun facts along the way. Our day was intense and invigorating… We took the subway so many times I think the trains are ending the day tired! Here is a summary of our adventures:
The Ginza District: Known for its shopping and highend retail shops… this area is the equivalent (although magnified!) of the Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Collins Avenue in Miami, or Rodeo Drive in L.A. The department stores are full of shiny (and VERY expensive) things. The glamorous district was fun to see. We didn’t see the imperial palace because it is not visible to visitors (although I hear the surrounding gardens are lovely).
The other ”thing to see” in Central Tokyo is the Tsukiji Central Fish Market - the largest in the world. Why we missed the fish throwing, bargaining, auction and early morning action (from 6-8 a.m.) – we did get to see the remnants of the morning ritual. The sushi restaurant where we ate lunch (and all of the restaurants in that area) are renowned for their “fresh” fish. Caught in the a.m. and served almost straight out of the water. I think I may have seen my sushi wiggle!
From Ginza we traveled to Shinjuku and the famous Shinjuku Station – the busiest station in the world! (Are you starting to see a trend here?!?). Shinjuku hosts many of Tokyo’s skyscrapers. The Metropolitan Government Building has a free observation floor which provides an amazing view of the city.
From Shinjuku we went to Harajuku… a neighborhood that hosts the famous Meji Shrine and the center of “pop culture” on Takeshita Avenue.