Our first full day as a tourist started with a return trip to the fish market. It was much better earlier in the morning, and the place was hopping. We wandered a bit then stopped at one of the small restaurants for sushi for breakfast.
The market is full of these tiny sushi bars that hold maybe a dozen people. There were massive lines out front of many of them. We found one that didn't have a line, and squeezed in. Literally. The other people had to stand up to allow us to squeeze between them and the wall. So much so that they let us exit through the kitchen at the end of the meal rather than have us push back through.
Breakfast was an assortment of sushi, and was amazing. I didn't like their version of the miso soup - it was very fishy - so I passed on that. After finishing our meal, we wandered through the market for a while. I had a look at some knives, but couldn't decide on one to buy. Pricy, but they look so good.
After we tired of the market we took the subway over to Tokyo Station to catch a train south of the city to Kamakura. The trip out took about an hour on a commuter train, travelling through the Tokyo suburbs.
The day had turned out to be a bit grey and overcast, not nearly as nice as it had been the day before. After arriving at Kamakura, we headed out of the station and into the town. The Main Street was pretty quiet, and the whole town had a much different feel than Tokyo. We walked through town and ended up at the ocean, where we watched a bunch of surfers, paddle boarders and wind surfers at play in the water. I imagine it would be a quite different scene in the summer when the weather was warmer.
After wandering the beach for a bit, we headed towards some of the temples and other attractions. The first one that we stopped at Hasedera Temple, was spectacular. The huge complex sits on a hill overlooking the town, and is made up of a series of amazing gardens and temple buildings. It must be amazing when the flowers are all in bloom.
The complex has two massive, golden statues as well as this great cave that has a series of carvings inside.
After the temple, we went up to the Kamakura Buddha. This huge bronze sculpture dates from the 11th century and sits in an idyllic park like setting. We stopped for a bit, then had noodles at a small restaurant across the street.
After lunch, we took a hiking trail back towards the town centre and the train station home. The trail followed a path through the woods, and allowed us to see a series of shrines and temples along the way back. One was really interesting in that is was at the source of a fresh water spring, and also dated back a few hundred years. There's a custom of people washing money in the spring in the temple, and that doing so means the money will be returned to you many times over. There were a lot of people there washing money. It was quite interesting.
Soon, we were back at the station and on the train back to Tokyo. The plan was to make a quick stop in the Ginza area, to check out some of the stores and another slightly different area of the city.
In Ginza, which is a major fashion centre, I found one of the items that Justine wanted me to look for. With that little win under our belt, we headed to another part of the city, Akihabara to find some electronics that Cyprien needed for his girlfriend. We ventured into Yodobashi Akiba which bills itself as the worlds biggest electronics retailer. I believe them. The place is massive and has the most incredible range of stuff on hand. Sadly most of it was pretty expensive relative to what I can get it for in North America. So there were no purchases for me.
After that experience we were pretty much done. We'd walked more than 17 km over the course of the day, and coupled with not sleeping well the next guy before I was exhausted.
We found a place to have dinner nearby, and had our first experience with Kobe beef. I have to say, it was unbelievable. I have never had beef that tender or flavorful and it was definitely a great meal. After dinner we hopped back on the subway and made our way back to the hotel. I was exhausted and it wasn't long before I was off to sleep.