The metropolis attracts Hanna Hussein to the world’s busiest fish market, its delicious halal food as well as its electronics hub
IT’S almost nine in the morning, and the Tokyo metro is bustling with city dwellers rushing off to work. Not really the best time for a tourist to explore the cityso I decide to wait before I queue in line.
Witnessing the typical energetic weekday in the capital city of Japan is an eye-opener.
Here in Tokyo, public transport is the way to go. Millions take the metro daily because it’s punctual, fast and a far cheaper option to move around the city.
The Google Map app helps me to determine the best route, the line to take, timing and fare.
Although WiFi is available all over the city, I prefer to carry the Travel Recommends portable modem (see review on page 5) which effortlessly allows me to be connected at all times whenever I travel. With mobile WiFi on hand, I can ensure that I’m on the right track.
On this three-day trip, my family and I visit some of the busiest spots in Tokyo city that every tourist should go in their bucketlist.
The first in my to-go-list is the world’s busiest fish market. Why do I travel5,300kmto visit a wet market? Here’s why. Not only is it the busiest, Tsukiji Fish Market in central Tokyo is also the largest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world.
It sells over 2,000 tonnes of marine products per day and 400types of seafood. Sardines, tuna, crab, prawns and many exotic seafood – you name it, it has it.
The market used to be a wholesale market only for business dealers to buy in bulk. Nowadays, ordinary customers are free to purchase at the outer retail market. The inner market where the fish auctions are held, however, is off limits.
Obviously, the best time to see the fish auction in action is before dawn where you can get the freshest catch of the day. However, to avoid interference during the peak business hour, tourists are advised to come after 10am.
I mainly explore the outer area where the small retailers and restaurants are. It’s crowded, with narrow lanes, and the shops not only sell fresh seafood but also all sorts of local delicacies including Japanese omelette and grilled seafood.
Of course, after seeing fresh fish at a bargain, I don’t want to miss my chance to taste one of the famous delicacies – Sushi Rice Bowl. I order a mix of seafood in a bowl – tuna, prawn, salmon roe, sea urchin and more. Oh,it’s so fresh, the portion is generous and it is only priced at 1,200yen (RM42)!
Another reason why I love Japan so much is that the halal options are aplenty. Wanting to taste more affordable Japanese gourmet, I head to another busy part of Tokyo to try halal yakiniku.
Located in Shibuya, Gyumon offers halal BBQ choices in a Japanese style experience. The small shops has limited seating that can fit up to 25 at a time but the ambience is warm.
There’s an English menu but the set choices are minimal. You can choose either shoulder, round or rib loin meat.
It’s a simple dish of seasoned meat (beef and chicken), and you can take your time to cook your meat over a hot charcoal grill to your own preference. I like mine medium rare – tender and juicy!
Each set is served with salad, rice, spicy sauce, soup and drink. The lunch set is priced as low as 2,000 yen. The lunch set is priced lower than dinner set.
Since the restaurant is located in Shibuya, one of Tokyo’s popular shopping and entertainment district, it’s perfect for shopping.
Also stop by famous attractions including crossing the busy Shibuya intersection, take a selfie with the Hachiko statue and go on a short walk to Harajuku.
At Akihabara, you can find all things electronics! If you want gadgets, mobile tech, smartphone, tab, camera and electronics, here’s the place to be.
It sellseverything, and some are sonew they have yet to be popular in Malaysia, so you may be the first to own them.
Akihabara is crowded most of the time. The main street of Chuo Dori is where you can start to explore.
Tall buildings are lined with hundreds of electronic shops including big chain companies like Laox, Sofmap and Yodobashi. There are also smaller individual shops worth checking out.
Shops usually offer a good bargain but best part is you can enjoy tax-free shopping with purchases of more than 5,000 yen.
Akihabara is also popular with gamers.There are huge shops such as Mandarale which sells all sorts of gaming merchandise and collectibles. It’s quite a fun place to hunt for souvenirs too!
Pictures by Hanna Hussein