Our last two days in Tokyo were filled with mixed emotions and a little dash of disappointment.
After spending a relaxing day in Odaiba, we went back to our apartment, and went to bed pretty early because our next stop in Tokyo was going to be the Tsukiji Fish Market. The Tsukiji fish market is well known all throughout the traveling world as one of the top destinations in Tokyo – specifically the infamous tuna auctions hours before the actual market opens to the public. Because the market is closing the original building and moving to a new location in November, we knew that we wanted to visit the original market and we definitely wanted to try and see a tuna auction.
From everything that we had watched and read on travel blogs and youtube videos, we thought that if we arrived before 3 A.M., we’d be able to get a reservation for the auction without any problems.
On Thursday night we packed our backpacks with extra water, a few snacks, and my camera, and then went to sleep for a few hours. We woke up at around 12:45 to get dressed and eat breakfast, and then left at about 1:15 a.m. to start our walk to Tsukiji. The trains stop running at around 11 p.m., so our only choice was to walk the 8 km (4.9 miles) from the apartment to the fish market. We took our time and stopped along the way at 7-11 for coffee, and even caught a few Magikarp as we passed the moat of the Imperial Palace.
At around 3 a.m. (it was Friday at this point), with much joy and jubilation, we arrived at the market. We stopped to talk to a police officer who was directing traffic and asked him where the building was to wait in the reservation line. To our utter disbelief he abruptly said (in English) “Tuna Auction is closed. Reservations ended at 2:30.”
I felt like screaming, and I wanted to shake him and say “DO YOU NOT REALIZE THAT I WALKED FIVE MILES FOR THIS?!” Why didn’t he know that I won’t be back in Tokyo until next summer?! Why didn’t he appreciate my efforts?!
But of course, I composed myself, and we came to terms with the fact that our only choice was to walk allllll the way back to our apartment and go back to sleep for a few hours.
When we woke up, we decided that we had to try and get into the tuna auction one last time. Our bus to Koriyama left on Saturday afternoon, so we still had Saturday morning to squeeze it in. Because we knew that walking another 5 miles to Tsukiji was not something we wanted to re-live, our only option was to take the last train in and wait until the next morning.
Until then, we had a whole entire day to kill. After breakfast, we headed on our way to Ryogoku to visit the Sumo Museum.
Since we had just seen an actual Sumo match, we thought it would be cool to visit the official museum…but we were sadly disappointed when we got to the ticket booth and were told it was closed.
After this dose of bad news, we headed back to Asakusa and bought some artwork to bring home with us.
Our next stop was Kabuki, which is traditional Japanese theater.
While you can buy tickets to see an entire show at the Kabuki theater, we went for a cheaper (and quicker) option; single act tickets. When we arrived at the theater, the first and second acts had already sold out, so we waited about an hour for tickets to the third act. Remember those Professional Waiters from Disney World? Yeah, they were there too.
I’ll just say this: Kabuki was not for us.
While I’m glad that we were able to experience such a traditional Japanese thing, it was pretty boring, and we were both relieved once the show ended.
Because we were planning on leaving straight from the fish market to go to the bus station, we ran back to the apartment and packed our backpacks. From our apartment we went to the nearest metro station, put our backpacks in a locker, and then took the last train to Tsukiji.
And that’s where I’ll end the blog.
Did we make it to the tuna auction?! Stay tuned to find out…