We started the day bright and early, but obviously not early enough, for when we arrived at Tsukiji Market, even the fruits auctioneers have packed up and left. However, watching the famous auctions wasn’t our main reason for going there – it was the auctioned goods we’re after.
After peeping rudely into all the sushi establishments there, we settled for one that’s off the beaten tracks. My dad was to ask me later how I knew which one to choose. Easy, I said. The best bet is the one with the longest queue. It was apparent from the way we whipped out our cameras that we were tourists. The chefs, who were joking among themselves when we first stepped in, suddenly assumed stern faces and pulled out their sharpest and largest blades. The “shii…ng!” of the knives stunned us for awhile, but I recovered fast enough to realize that they were actually posing for our cameras.
We moved on to Akihabara. I have to say that this was a place I never thought I’d visit. Akiba brings to mind computer geeks and tech freaks. In retrospect, after all the mad chasing of manga and animes, and adding to that the amount of time I spend on my computer, I realize I’m actually a fully qualified nerd after all. There was only 1 thing on my mind when I was there though : maid Cafes. I’m extremely proud to say that we managed to visit one without blushing, despite the fact that we were 3 girls and 1 guy. Maybe it was the particular cafe we visited, but it didn’t leave any extraordinary experience.
This was to be my favorite day for the entire trip, and here’s why : UFO Catchers. You have to be there to see those machines to understand why I’ve never taken a second look at the ones in SG, and yet the ones in Tokyo brought out so much joy and excitement in me. I’ve probably never shrieked nor giggled so much in my life. At Akiba, I watched as my friend caught a huge Minnie Mouse after 5 tries. So when we got to Ikebukuro and saw all the machines enticing me like prostitutes with their legs spread open, I caved in and inserted my first 100 yen coin into the slot. One cute little teddy dropped into the box. My first UFO catch. The next 100 yen saw 2 teddies fall. I was hooked.
So that was how we spent the day, hovering around machines watching others, lurking behind people strategizing and commenting as if we knew better, peering through the glass malevolently while we watch the ‘clutches’ hold on to our catch… You might say that we had just wasted an entire day. But I thought differently. I hadn’t had so much fun for a long time.