TRAVEL GUIDE 2017
5AM: FISHY BUSINESS Funfact:Theworld’s most expensive fish was a 489-pound Pacific bluefin tuna sold for US$1.76 million at Tsukiji Fish Market . Transactions such as this take place daily at Tsukiji, at the crack of dawn. Tourists looking to catch the auctions should get there no later than 4am for registration – spots are limited. If you only want to browse, the market is open to the public from 9am (or try your luck from 8am). You’ll marvel at the colour, obscurity and sheer size of some of these sea creatures, and get to sample everything from tuna jerky to shirako (cod sperm!). Get in while you can as this age-old landmark is set to move premises in the near future. 8AM: SUSHI SUNRISE Sushi for breakfast? It’s a rite of passage at Tsukiji, and some of the freshest fish you’ll ever have. The most popular restaurants can be found in the Building 6 alleys; most seat no more than 10 at a time and can entail a wait of up to two hours. The negitoro don (raw tuna rice bowl) and sashimi set were well worth it, even with the rain. If you’re undecided about what to order, say “ omakase ” and leave it up to the chef, or “ shun no mono ” for seasonal items.
MAKE IT HAPPEN: Singapore Airlines flies daily to Narita and Haneda in just under seven hours. To plan your journey to the city ahead of time, check out japan-guide.com, and visit tokyobiketrip.com to lock in a bike tour. fishmongers and neon-clad teens, peace and quiet is in order. Sitting alongside Harajuku, and boasting 170 acres of lush forestry, the Meiji Shrine welcomes visitors with a 40-foot gate made of 1,500-year-old cypress. Dedicated to Emperor Meiji (1852-1912), this place is a harmonious meld of old and new. Take a leisurely stroll, find your zen, then purify your spirit at a communal water basin, the way the locals do – toss some coins into the offering box, bow your head twice, clap twice, and bow once more. 12 NOON: HARAJUKU HIPSTER If you trade the mohawks for neon wigs and sprinkle some glitter around the place, Harajuku vaguely reminds me of Camden in London. This is Tokyo’s eccentric side, and it invites all to push the limits of fashion and play, from stellar anime cosplay to nine-inch platforms and bejewelled lashes. Takeshita-d ō ri is the main street, lined with fashion boutiques and cafés, but there’s plenty on in the narrow lanes and second storeys too. I found some brilliant origami souvenirs before topping the afternoon off with a sweet treat of mouthwatering crepes and soft- serve ice cream. 3PM: EAST MEETS WEST A f t e r t h e f r a n t i c
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