First days of the summer, aye...(get it? Summer-aye? Samurai? Ah forget it...)
11.05.2015 - 12.05.2015
Wandered around Asakusa last night, looks great at night. You can also see the place from my hotel window (hence the name 'Asakusa View Hotel').
(And for Rick: it's not 6500 yen, it's more like 65,000 yen - he'll know what I mean)
Went to the Tuskiji fish market, which is where all our tuna ends up now, with 25% of the world's tuna catch eaten in Japan. Also had whale bacon there, not bad but a bit on the fatty side. Not as good as dolphin apparently, (but then neither is koala, which horrifies them here if I say that).
Big news today is the typhoon (= tropical cyclone) that hit further south which is expected to be in Tokyo by tonight as a category 1. Heaps of rain apparently but no one here is all that worried, so I won't be.
Also yesterday went to Senkaku-ji temple where the 47 ronin are buried. Short story: in 1730 something, last days of samurai, and a local lord was getting a visit from the Shogun (bloke in charge on Emperor's behalf). Protocol minister ahead of Shogun was supposed to educate the lord as to what his duties were, and in return receive a fairly hefty payment (i.e. bribe) for doing so. Trouble was, this particular lord was not a believer in bribes, so didn't pay up - hence minister snubbed him and refused to give him his protocol instruction, and kept bagging him every day. Finally, old mate has had enough, and stabs the minister one day - didn't kill him, but big ruckus then ensued, ending with lord's traditional suicide as punishment. His blokes then got all uppity, and after having been given a direction not to get any payback basically get banished as ronin (being they are now out of a job), Two years of plotting later, the 47 ronin bust in to the minister's house in a well planned aggravated burglary, kill the minister, and take his head to Senkaku-ji temple. Head goes to the priest (they still have the receipt) and all 47 then commit suicide and are buried at the temple. The end.
Got shown how to make proper sushi as well, so any raw fish, I can do. Not bad when it's done right, either. And proper wasabi that blows you nose hairs off.
Big news here is the new government bill to allow Japanese Self Defence Force to operate in foreign conflicts under set criteria (basically if its a threat to Japanese stability). Getting a lot of support at the moment. Hakone volcano is the other big news, no one is allowed there at the moment and could go off at the drop of a hat, no one is really sure. Lots of people reckon earthquakes etc are more common now, too.
Heading to Kyoto tomorrow on Shinkansen, so probably couple of days till next post.