Tokyo Fish Market and Hakone

This morning before leaving Tokyo we visited one of the three wholesale fish markets.  The large fish are auctioned off about 5:00 am but only the first 70 tourists in line are allowed in so we did not even try for the auction.  We got there about 9:30 when tourists are allowed in to see the general activity.  I did see the auction when I visited with NDC 20 years ago and the visit is much more interesting when you see it.  Still, the variety of fish is quite amazing and the prices of some fish are quite substantial.  If you know what kind of fish is in the first photo, I would like to know.  At noon we took a thirty minute ride on a Shinkansen  Bullet train to Odawara where we had a bus waiting for us.  This area is mountainous with many spa hotels that take advantage of the sulphurous hot springs in the area.  It is also a place for viewing Mount Fuji.  However, Fuji was completely hidden in the clouds.  You have to come in winter to get any guarantee of seeing it.  We stopped along the shores of Lake Ashi which is quite picturesque and visited another garden which was formerly part of an imperial villa.  You will see more evidence of careful pruning in the photos below.  This town, Hakone-Machi was the location of the Hakone Sekisho (Hakone Barrier), erected in 1618  (2 photos show a modern reproduction of the original) , a strategic location at which travellers to Edo (now Tokyo) could be searched.   This was a forerunner of modern airport security. We then took a forty five minute boat ride along the lake to a small town which was at the base of a cable car which we rode to the top of a mountain where you  see sulphurous steam escaping from the rocks.  The steam is used for geo-thermal heating and sulphur is also mined for fertilizer (photo).  All of this sightseeing was aimed at seeing the non-existent Mount Fuji.  However, the day was pleasant and the scenery was quite nice.  The bus took us to our Japanese style hotel (ryokan) for the evening.  As I started to write this I was sitting in my Japanese kimono  (yukata) waiting for dinner. It is obligatory to wear the kimono at all times in the hotel.   I took advantage of the communal bath, or onsen,  (segregated for men and women) which I assume is heated by the hot springs.  The Japanese will apparently take a bath before and after dinner and before breakfast.    Only a few in the group to tried out the bath.   Dinner was Japanese style – i.e. sitting on the floor.  My room is also Japanese style.  The main sitting area is on the floor though there is a small table and chairs that I used for my laptop.  The bed was laid on the floor on tatami mats and was comfortable.  The buckwheat pillow, however, would take some getting used to.  Our next stop is Nagoya.

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One Response to Tokyo Fish Market and Hakone

  1. kieron says:

    I think it’s a “red trumpet fish”.

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