Books and Fish in Tokyo 東京的魚和書

livinguktaiwan
LivingUKTaiwan @livinguktaiwanNovember 2018 · 5 min read


Books and Fish, two seemingly unrelated things. Fish doesn't read books, but you could read a book about fish, or eat fish when you're reading a book. Anyway, books and fish were the two things I encountered on my first day in Tokyo.
看來是風馬牛不相及的東西,就是我第一天在東京遇到的事


BOOKS from Books and Fish

On my first morning in Tokyo, I came out from my hotel ready to venture Tokyo. As soon as I stepped outside, I saw lots of people setting up some stalls on the road. I hadn't realised this, but my hotel was in Jinbocho, an area that has many second hand book stores, a bit like Charing Cross in London. And it turns out this weekend was The 28th Jinbou Book Festival. The whole street was closed off for the festival, and the atmosphere was very different from the evening before.

我住的旅館座落於神保町,是東京著名的二手書店區。這個週末剛好是第 28屆書節。吃過早餐出來,見開幕典禮就要開始就停下來看,還拍了視頻。書節不算大,卻辦得很認真,大家還非常有耐性的排隊到攤檔去看書。大和民族的禮貌,果然不是浪得虛名。

Books from Books and Fish
Books from Books and Fish

Books from Books and Fish
Books from Books and Fish

OPENING CEREMONY


A lot of people had gathered at one end of the street when I came out from breakfast. It looks like there would be some sort of opening ceremony. A brass band was waiting on the street, and there were many dignitaries all wearing a tradition jacket. Naturally I lingered around as I wasn't in any hurry to go anywhere. After all that's the whole point of going on holiday, to experience and explore. In my opinion, anything that's been going on for 28 years is worth watching. Check out the video here.

Books from Books and Fish
Books from Books and Fish

AN ORDERLY FESTIVAL


After the ribbon cutting ceromony, people started wandering around the festival. Everyone and everything at the festival was so calm and orderly. All the stalls were pretty small and were set up back to back, so all the customers were only facing one side. They wouldn't be criss crossing any aisles causing traffic jams and bumping into one another.
Books from Books and Fish
Books from Books and Fish

What really amazed me was people queuing up on the side of the road. I've been to other book festivals before where people queue up to buy limited editions or get autographs. But this was a totally different level. There were grown up book lovers, patiently waiting in line just so they can go to browse at a second-hand book stall. I don't know where else apart from Japan you will see this.

Books from Books and Fish
Books from Books and Fish


FISH from Books and Fish

Japan is most famous for sushi and sashimi, and the Tsukiji Fish Market in central Tokyo used to be one of a major tourist attraction. I've been to Tsukiji before, and love the vibe of the market. Eating the freshest sashimi in the restaurant at the Tsukiji outer market is something that you don't forget even after all these years. Tsukiji closed in October 2018, literally weeks before I was in Japan. The new Toyosu Fish Market opened a little further out of town. Toyosu Fish Market is one of the largest fish market in the world, and to be honest was a little disappointing.

愛玩愛吃的朋友到東京一定會到築地市場。這個80多年老的市場今年10月底搬到距離不遠的豐州市場。星期六去的時候人山人海,吃午餐足足等了 1.5小時!! 豐州市場還有批發水果蔬菜市場,整個區像商業區多於市場,完全沒市場應有的熱鬧氣氛。

Fish from Books and Fish
Fish from Books and Fish

TOURIST TRAP


The whole complex consisted of the fish market and a wholesale fruit and veg market connected on both sides of the road by walkways. If I didn't know, I'd never guess that this was a fish market. It looked like some commercial buildings. There was no buzz nor vibe at all. And the fact I went on a Saturday lunchtime didn't help either. Look at the people as I entered.
Fish from Books and Fish
Fish from Books and Fish

Fish from Books and Fish
Fish from Books and Fish

LUNCH


There are many restaurants inside this building and massive queues at everyone one of them. I choose the shortest queue, and guess how long I waited for? 1.5 hours!!!! 90 minutes!!! 5400 seconds!!!! I had no choice really. If I left, it probably would have taken me about the same amount of time to get back into central Tokyo and find somewhere eat. Was it worth it? Let's just say it was very good after the long wait.
Fish from Books and Fish
Fish from Books and Fish

Fish from Books and Fish
Fish from Books and Fish


Tsukiji outer market

The Tsukiji wholesale fish market may have closed, but the outer market for tourists still exists. On the way back into town, I dropped by to look around. It was late afternoon already, but you could instantly imagine that this is what a market should feel and look like. It would be vibrant and full of life.

離開豐州後,我到築地外市場,這部份仍然在舊地沒有搬。雖然是週六下午很多店都關門,食肆又未開,但仍然可以想像到魚市場應有的氣氛。

Fish from Books and Fish
Fish from Books and Fish

Fish from Books and Fish
Fish from Books and Fish

Fish from Books and Fish
Fish from Books and Fish

There are still many restaurants around this area and they were getting ready for the Saturday evening trade. These restaurants aren't as new or nicely decorated as those at lunchtime, but they sure do have a lot more character. Based on my limited knowledge of Japanese food (I love it but can't claim to be a connoisseur), sashimi is a commoditized product. What elevates it is the skill of the chef preparing it, the garnish, the side dishes and the ambience. I have a feeling you will find it here - as well as evidence of freshly prepared sashimi.

Fish from Books and Fish
Fish from Books and Fish

Fish from Books and Fish
Fish from Books and Fish

Tsukiji Honganji Temple


My final stop of the day was the Tsukiji Honganji Temple. Actually the only reason I stopped by the Tsukiji outer market was because on the way out to Toyosu, I noticed a very unique temple. The Tsukiji Honhanji Temple is very different from traditional Japanese temples, in fact it's very different from many other temples. That's what caught my eye.

The temple was first built in 1617. Over the years, it has survived a fire, earthquake and presumable wars. This current structure was rebuilt in 1936 in an India Buddist style, and its architecture is rare in Japan. Apparently the inside of the temple also has a western twist. It has stained glass window and a pipe organ from Germany. Unfortunately the temple was closed when I arrived. Nevertheless, the outside was something remarkable, perfect to wind off my busy day.

這天最後一站是築地本願寺。它是特別的印度式設計,在日本很罕有。聞說裡面還有西式教堂常見的彩色玻璃窗,和一座德國的管風琴。可惜當時已太晚沒能進入參觀。雖然如此,在夜幕下欣賞築地本願寺的獨特設計,總算為節目豐富的一天畫上原美的句號。

Books and Fish
Books and Fish



Posted from my blog with SteemPress : http://livinguktaiwan.com/books-and-fish-in-tokyo/

Check out all my travel posts here on Steemit Worldmap, and also my latest project @LadiesOfAsia where we share fun and cultural diversity across Asia Pacific.


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I miss japan!! And I love the fact they line up so nicely and patiently


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There was a queue at another alley and originally I thought they were queuing up for the restaurant by the corner which I thought was really odd as they were all 'grown ups' and the restaurant didn't open till an hour later!


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vliet
Vytene @vlietNovember 2018

I love finding myself unexpectedly at a festival when abroad, it always adds something special to the trip.
This book festival looks a really orderly affair, can't believe people queueing just to browse secondhand books!
From your post, I get the impression that they queue a lot in Japan - festivals, books, food... oh dear....


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Thats the best thing with travelling, stumbling across the unexpected. Thanks for dropping by.


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I also went to Toyosu on Monday, such a disappointment.. Tsukiji looks cool though, I didn't know that parts of it were still open!


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Hopefully the rest of your Japan trip was more eventful.


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Congratulations! Your high-quality travel content was selected by @travelfeed curator @jpphotography and earned you a partial upvote. We love your hard work and hope to encourage you to continue to publish strong travel-related content.
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Thanks @jpphotography and and @travelfeed


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