Vegetarian in a fish market

A vegetarian walks into the Tsukiji fish market… Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, right? No, seriously, I heard it from this local at the izakaya (bar) last night. It goes like this: so the vegetarian daughter of two artists walks into the Tsukiji fish market. What does she buy? Fish? Not a chance. Vegetables? Nope. Tacky souvineers? Not even…

Ready for the punchline?

She buys pottery.

A mug to be exact.

*Sigh*… I guess there’s really no escaping the pottery gene. But I suppose there could be worse things to inherit…

I’m thinking about calling it my avocado mug.

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So as you may have guessed, I went to the Tsukiji fish market this morning as planned. It was about a 35 minutes subway ride from my residence, with one transfer in the middle. I had originally aimed to arrive around 10:00, but my directionally challenged brain decided that was about an hour too early for my own good, and it took me until 11 to actually find the place. Once I was finally headed in the right direction, the entrance was not hard to miss.

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The streets were packed with people and lined with stalls selling all manner of fresh, cooked and dried seafood; arrays of vegetables; high-end sushi knives; and touristy knick-knacks. I wandered up and down through the maze of alleys, taking in the sights – not only of the many front stalls, but also of the hundreds of tiny restaurants tucked in behind.

Surprisingly one of the more popular snacks available from multiple street vendors was a “rolled omelette” which is made with local eggs and is light and fluffy, with an enjoyably sweet taste. This and an iced tea from a vending machine made my lunch for a grand total of 210¥.

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It was really cool to watch the cooks prepare the omelettes right in front of me, and if anyone is interested here is an excellent YouTube video of the process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TW-4Pv3U3Y

After all the fishy excitement, I headed back home – pausing along the way to grab a couple of pictures of a huge buddhist temple near the market.

After a power nap and a snack, I decided to head out over to Shibuya to see an art exhibit that I had heard about. The show is called “The Sapeur” and it is located in one of the big department stores close by to Shibuya station, so I figured I’d have a fairly easy time finding it. Sure enough, almost the first thing I saw outside the subway station was this big billboard.

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The show featured photographs by the Japanese artist Kunio Chano, showcasing many of the residents of Brazzaville, Congo and their unique styles.

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Maybe it was just the night, or my increasing tiredness, but I found the rest of Shibuya fairly underwhelming. Yes, the scramble crossing was everything people said it would be, (although in this instance I think maybe online pictures actually offer a better view than in person, since all I really got to see where the backs of heads and cameras). The side streets were also less interesting than I had hoped, but to be fair, I didn’t give the area much time, so maybe on my next exploration I’ll discover more.

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Anyways, I headed home satisfied from a long day. I’ll bet it’s not often someone goes to the Tsukiji fish market for pottery, and Shibuya for alternative photoraphy exhibits. So I guess I really do sound like the intro to a cheesy joke. But I suppose I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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