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Monthly Archives: February 2014

You probably noticed this a couple of days ago when I was talking about the straw sweaters on the plants. Old and new right next to each other. Antique garden with its tea house at the feet of the very modern sky scrapers.

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Tokyo, January 2014

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Ok, not really. But tea anyway.

As the laminated card advised, the ceremony is not performed. But you do get a nice bowl of matcha and a traditional sweet. And a killer view. So it was my own “ceremony.”

And appropriately enough, there’s a little wabi sabi character to the photo.  Pardon my leg in the lower left hand corner.

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Tokyo, January 2014

Two amazing things in this picture.  (Well, more really, but wait for later on the rest.)

On the right, the trees look like they’re being made into some sort of geometry example — “this is what a cone looks like.”  I’m sure it’s really just support for the tree.  But look at all of those nice straight lines superimposed on the tree.

And then on the left … wait … what happened to the plant.  It is wearing a straw sweater.  From head to toe.  Tender plants protected from the cold with a form fitting straw shell.

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Tokyo, January 2014

There are lots of these carts driving around the market. And they are fast. Look out.

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Tokyo, January 2014

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Tokyo, January 2014

My favorite piece of sushi. And here there was a whole big tray.

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Tokyo, January 2014

The market is amazing in multiple dimensions.  One of those dimensions is the tuna supply chain.  From the auction, the big tunas go to one vendor to be cut into large pieces (quarters?).  Then on to other vendors to break them down into smaller pieces.  And then finally at the edge of the market you can buy it yourself in the form of sushi.

Here they are after the auction.

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And getting that first cut, still frozen solid.

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And then from saw to sword.
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And then finally, as if at the jewelry store.
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Tokyo, January 2014

Early (well, for me) on the way to the Tsukiji Fish Market.  Not early for these guys.  They do it every day.  On the right you see a guy rushing to the market with a load on his cart.  The lanterns light the entrance to the shrine outside the market.

So you get to Tokyo from San Francisco and your body is just a little confused about time zone.  So it is a lot easier than normal to get up way early.  And you do get up to go see the market, which is *well* worth going to see.  But you’re told to go early.  Why?  Unless you want to get in to see the tuna auction (and there are very few spots available for that), the general public can’t get into the part of the market that you really want to see until 9:00 am.  Trust me, I know.  I got kicked out twice.  By the same guy.  Oops.  (The first time because I didn’t know about the 9:00 am rule and the second time because I thought I was in an unrestricted area.)

So, my advice?  Sleep in.  Well, until 7am anyway.  Then get up, hop on the subway and wander in around 8:45.  There will be plenty to see.  And you’ll be well rested.

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Tokyo, January 2014

Japan is the home of Hello Kitty, after all.  In a store window in Harajuku.

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Tokyo, January 2014

Outside Meiji Jingu Shrine. And on the way to Harajuku. And really, that is quite a transition. From quiet and spiritual to young, urban fashion in a 3 minute walk.

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Tokyo, January 2014