Let's start in Tokyo. It's everything you thought it would be and more: weird and modern, traditional and technological. When you step off the plane in Tokyo, you realize the joke is on you. All the weird and wonderful is just everyday to them, and at over 12 million strong, they get to write the book on what is 'normal' - not you. We spend most of our day in laughing fits over how out of place and ridiculous we appeared and acted. There's no 'blending in' in Tokyo, or Japan for that matter. It's the most homogenous place I've ever seen. Looks aside, there is also a uniformity of thought and action on behalf of the Japanese. No one ever crosses the street without a walk sign. Everyone stands to the right on the escalators (awesomeness). No one looks you in the eye on the train. And yes, everyone bows. It was clean, orderly, polite, and efficient - a little slice of heaven for my Type A brain!
The fun started within the first five minutes in our hotel:
Then it was straight to the Tuskiji fish market. It is the largest wholesale fish market in the world, employing over 60,000 people and processing over 400 types of sea-products. It is home to the famed tuna auction that happens every morning. The highest price ever paid was $173,600 for one sushi-grade blue fin tuna.
Once the tuna is purchase it is cut frozen with huge ban-saws, watch those digits!
This is the road leading up to the Senso-ji temple. We visited Tokyo during the Obon festival which honors the dead. Its a chance for families to come together, and it also means that they swarm to see the same sites. Our guide said that the Japanese have to value harmony and patience, because other wise no one would tolerate so many people in their personal space!