It was a moment of hushed voices and drawn-out activity. We stepped into the Tsukiji Market at around 10 that morning, eager to see the flurry of bargaining and buying and catching. I looked into the containers of one stall and there was a lonesome group of eel. I looked into another and there was just a mere crab tied up. 'I think we missed it,' my husband pointed out. I caught sight of an owner counting his earnings for the morning. 'Yeah, we did,' I replied. An iconic 3-wheel motorized cart passed by us, transporting what was left of the market. Although it was quite interesting witnessing the remnants of what must have been a teeming and lively interaction, we should have gone earlier.
But then isn't that the reaction of the world towards everything Japan? We should have gone earlier. We should have thought of that first. We couldn't have invented that. Only the Japanese can pull that off. Because while we're still making the blueprint, Japan has already executed it. And is probably making the blueprint of something we haven't even thought of yet. I went to Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara last year and while I wish I could wax poetic about Tokyo the same way I could of those three cities and their rich, evident culture, I find myself carrying a different experience: blown away by a city that takes me to the future.
Tokyo, I'd like to think, has the epithet of a juxtaposition. Media creates stereotypes out of the blazing lights and neck-craning buildings of Shibuya but not everyone knows the cosy, small side streets of Omotesando and the wonderful shops that line its pockets. There's, of course, the advancements, conveniences, and accessibility but what about the tribute to old-world traditions and methods? Yes, Ginza is lined with everyone's favorite international designers but Roppongi is filled with young entrepreneurs, too. It's this notable juxtaposition that makes this city inimitable. The rest of the world takes its cue from Tokyo, waiting with bated breaths. What's the next best thing? How should we live? What can we create? Just look to the Land of the Rising Sun. They're probably doing it already.
Tokyo has too much to offer that I can't condense everything into one blog post. So I've decided to make a Tokyo Guide by area. Before we left, I did extensive research to fill our itinerary. My cues were taken from The Monocle Travel Guide Series, Where Chefs Eat, Eyewitness Travel, and Kissa Castañeda-McDermott, the original Japonista. Hope Tokyo blows you away, too!