It really was pretty great.
In our wee group of 8, with the fearless Yukiko guiding us through the white-shirted throngs, we cycled over many bridges to the constructed islands in Tokyo’s bay area.
We stopped off at Tsukuda (it sounds like scooter, said in a really abreviated, Aussie style), where the first shogun imported 33 competent fishermen.
(I know it looks like I was just walking around Tokyo wearing a bike helmet. I wasn’t, I promise.)
It was pretty interesting to hear Yukiko talk about Japanese history. After the 200 years of peace during the Edo period, Japan opened its borders and embraced Industry. I think I’ve only ever seen this period portrayed with great melancholy: Here is the end of a great, untainted culture. Yukiko gave the new perspective that Japan was desperate to catch up to the West, and to develop their own industry and technology – a fervour that is still alive and well today, evidently.
The sun started to get really hot. Here’s a short video of probably the most delicious part of the whole day: we arrived at the Tsukiji fish market (biggest in the world – it is truly amazing) and dunked cloths in a bucket of iced water.
Then we cycled to the beach and ate a delicious picnic from bento boxes. I went down to the beach to dunk my head in and interrupted three little boys gleefully pushing each other into the water.
We saw some temples – walked the Steps of Promotion so that we would all be mightily successful in the work place.
It was such a great way to see Tokyo, and felt a lot more productive than walking for miles through Shinjuku station and surrounds (though I’m pretty fond of that old place).
Do it! if you’re ever in Tokyo.