We got up real early Tuesday morning to catch an 8am flight from Philly to Minneapolis. We both ended up with TSA Precheck which was pretty great, and we both made it through security without any issue. Even with probably more than the allowable liquid (I made him take half of my stash), and an entire bag of snacks.
We had a quick stop in Minneapolis before heading to Tokyo. Officially the longest I have ever been on a plane. Roughly 14 hour flight. We were in coach but luckily scored a three seater row so we had a seat between us. Watched a bunch of TV episodes and movies… really helped to pass the time! Charlie slept a lot. Me, not so much.
We arrived in Tokyo right before sunset. It is 14 hours ahead of EST, so it was Wednesday when we got there. We took a 40 min Keisei Skyliner to Nippori, and then the JR line to the town Minami-senju where our AirBnB was.
At 1am we both discovered the other was wide awake, so we decided to take a once in a lifetime opportunity to go to the Tsukiji Tuna Auction before 3am. We found out the hard way that none of the public transportation was running at 2:30 in the morning, so we found a cab and headed to Tsukiji.
After some wandering around and asking a bunch of people, we were ushuered into the waiting area by security guards (we clearly are obvious tourists). Only 120 people can get into this auction per day; 60 at 5:15am, and the other 60 at 5:45am. We got there at 3:30 and there were already 65 people waiting. We were issued a blue pinny to wear as our admission.
The tuna were the biggest tuna I have ever seen. It was cool to watch the auctioneers do their thing. Each one had their own style. After the auction, we browsed the market. Charlie sampled some grasshopper and pond smelt before we sat down at a very tiny counter and ate some rice bowls.
After breakfast, we hopped on the subway and headed for Meiji Jingu. There is a shrine and gardens there that we wanted to check out before it got crowded (it’s only around 8am at this point). Alot of the stores and other attractions didn’t open until 9, but we enjoyed walking around the gardens and the silence while observing the temple.
Back on the Metro, on to Ueno district. Did a little walking around, FINALLY got some coffee, and then walked back to our AirBnB, stopping at Joyful Minowa shopping mall for some browsing and chicken skewers.
After a nap, we were back on the Metro headed to Akihabara, where we went to a bouldering gym called B-Pump. It had three floors and the top floor was called Space Room. Crashed after a very long day. Headed for Taipei in the morning!