Japan: Part 1

It’s apparent that a lot has been happening back hope to affect me. However, I think now I should focus back on my travels and to do so I will have to talk about my latest exploits…in Tokyo, Japan.

I attempted to keep it a secret for as long as I could but I didn’t go alone so many of my photos were leaked onto social media platforms and those of you smart enough to check the flickr photo stream were able to see practically 200 photos I took in my 5 day trip. Yes…almost 200 photos and double that if you count the ones taken by my friends.

Now while you can look at the photos and get a pretty god sense of what happened I’m sure you would appreciate it a little bit more if I put some of them into context. I should also reiterate there are almost 200 photos! It will take me a while to talk about what happened to me and I’m even struggling to grasp at the details considering it was about two weeks ago…and new things have actually happened since then.

So I have begun to write my blogs in advance. Breaking up my trip to Japan into several different blogs. This means that for a little while you can expect at least one blog every single week from me. In addition to  whatever else I decide to write that week.

So lets set up some arbitrary time…lets say Friday at Noon EST. (I want to remind all of you that I’m writing these in between classes at school and WordPress has started to have issues with my computer.) So without further adieu I give you the first part of my vacation in Japan.

So I begin with the very first experience of the very last day. It was about 5am, the friends I had shared the hotel room with were passed out. I didn’t blame them, because out of all of the events on our schedule this one seemed the most boring (that’s also probably why I am posting this one first. Even thought this was the very first thing to do on Time’s Tokyo in 24 list I think I’m writing this post more so for my father than for anyone else).I traveled across Tokyo and arrived in Tsukiji, the site of the largest fish market in the world. At first I was a little concerned. The place I had found seemed to be a sprawling marketplace of dried fish goods, cutlery sets, and a handful of sushi restaurants.

Then somehow I wondered into a dark dank warehouse that seemed to be a highway of motorized carts. I was run over more times than I could remember. Had I been more attentive it would have been the perfect place to pick up some Japanese insults.

I dove deeper into the labyrinth, dodging and diving for my life. Barely able to snap a photo. Then when i could finally breath I looked to my left..

Then I looked to my right…

There were vendors as long as the eye could see. The place was a bustling metropolis of fish mongers the likes I have never seen before. They carved up creatures that were more monsters than meals. Using jigsaws to slice through the massive beasts.

If the ground was any wetter you could have sworn it was built on a dock just inches below sea level. At least three times I narrowly escaped as fishermen dumped barrels of water and freshly cleaned guts from container to container.

Sealed in boxes of of Styrofoam and plastic living things still teamed about in their tombs unaware that their life had now become a convenience ensuring the freshness of their flesh.

I remember when I was a little boy my dad told me something that I always remember. Fresh fish, don’t smell like fish at all. It only makes sense that a living man does not smell like a rotting corpse. And so it was with the market as well. Breathing in, I couldn’t trace the faintest hint of a fish, which is fascinating considering that the next best place to find a fish was in the sea. It meant that everything I laid my eyes upon was caught, killed and cut that morning.  It also ment that most everything would be bought, sold, and consumed today as well.

As I left I noticed a sign hanging up on the wall. It seemed as though since the onset of recent tremors Tsukiji had become a hallowed place only suited for the man of the sea. When you trespass into a den of men whom wield knives, hooks and other instruments designed specifically to cleave muscle from bone and escape with your life, truly you have had an adventure!

I felt accomplished after my exploits and rather than meet back up with my comrads I did anyone would do. I celebrated. It’s not very often when a man can say they ate fish bought and sold in the largest fish market in the world. But I suppose now I can. It was a fantastic assortment, probably the freshest and most authentic sushi meal I will ever have.

I began chatting it up with a Japanese business man who spoke near perfect English when another teacher from Korea overheard our conversation. The teacher had been there sometime and like me he had felt the pinch of the Yen emptying his pockets. However he too was such an vivid lover of fish that he saved up his money to splurge on this rare fish. Being a very personable Californian he had made friends with one of the sushi chefs and he showed me a picture of his meal.

What you see above you is a still beating fish heart. As he pointed out the clearly visible valves and arteries he describe to me in vivid detail how the warm mound of living muscle tissue pulsed down his throat.
We are close friends to this day.
Well I hope that made a fish market more (pardon the pun) more palatable. That’s the end of the first post. I’m trying to decide which one to post next. So I’ll let you guys vote on it.
See you next week or sooner.
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3 Responses to Japan: Part 1

  1. Marty says:

    It’s almost like being there. Can’t wait to come visit you. Looking forward to next post.

  2. Randy says:

    Echo!!! what it do, its been a while since i posted something. Dude, if no one hasnt said it in a long time.. YOU ARE MISSED! In addition to that, people back here are praying for you everyday. A beating heart!!!!! wow thats the stuff you see on Bizzare foods, show that comes on Discovery..I think… Man, you gotta save all your writings, God has really blessed you in that area. Every time i read your post, I feel like I’m there, you’re a great artist with that pen(keyboard!) LOL! I think your next post should be about recreation.. give us some pics of the peeps you hanging wtih..How was the food? Whats the toxic level like.. That stuff didnt just stop did it? Random thought/question.. you still Christian aintcha? When is your tour up again? I ask a lot of questions don’t I? That was question! Man, keep on exploring, its making you a better man..Miss you bro, until next time

    Randy

  3. God Mommy Pat says:

    Swallowing a beating fish heart! Yuckie 🙂

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