A byte of life from the Land of Sumos and Sushi

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Two weeks ago, JET's from around the country desended on Tokyo for the re-contractors conference. I have not been to Tokyo since my arrival in Japan last August, so I was looking forward to exploring more of this concrete paradise.

A group from Fukui headed down early so as to make the most of this all expenses paid trip (thanks Japanese Government, you shouldn't have), and I was guilty of thinking that the two day conference was simply going to be an annoying thorn in my side, preventing me from enjoying Tokyo to the full.

However, I was surprised and impressed to find that the conference itself was actually very well orgainised and every talk I went to left me with fresh ideas, and new found motivaiton for teaching as well as learning Japanese. It was also nice to see so many familiar faces and catch up with a few old friends.

A group of us opted for the over night bus from Fukui to Tokyo, taking around 8 hours. Full marks to the vehicle, it was the limo of the bus world, a far cry from the National Express or Greyhound buses that I have had the mis-pleasure of experiencing. With three separate aisles, and seats that reclined to almost vertical it was the most comfortable bus I have ever ridden. However, it was still a bus, and didn't provide its passengers with the deepest of sleep.

The worst thing about taking the over night bus is that you are rudely awakend rather early and deposited in central Tokyo at the bonne heure of 5:30am. With little else to do at this time, we headed to the semi famous Tokyo Fish Market, which was in full swing. Any sluggishness was soon forced out of us as we had to stay alert to stay alive. Miniture trucks bearing loads of fishy cargo constantly zipped about through the narrow stalls, delivering their wares, and probably getting annoyed at the annoying gaijin who get in the way, take photos of everything, and never buy anything.

Stall upon stall of octopus, eel, tuna, and every other fish under the sea was too much for the veggies of the group who lasted barely three minutes, before retreating to a nearby cafe. The rest of us took in the atmoshere, witnessed a fish bidding war, and finally managed to escape without injury. After taking our fill of fish photos, we reconviened and then headed onwards, deep into the dense concrete of Tokyo city.

T*O*K*Y*O: Part II - coming soon to a funkydrummer blog near you.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

[sigh] i wish the seats on buses in england could move to almost vertical....

...i'm sorry. couldn't resist it!


Tuesday, July 26, 2005 5:45:00 am


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