Wow, talk about sensory overload… the Tsukiji Fish Markets, just a few train stops from Ginza, is an experience to say the least. As the largest wholesale fish market in Tokyo, and most probably one of the largest fish markets in the world, it’s so worth the visit. We did however skip the tuna auction which would have had us there around 4-5am in 2 degree temperatures… brrrrrr!
Probably not surprising seeing the Japanese are so clean there were no bad fishy smells. Everything was extremely fresh, and looked just amazing… there was something new and intriguing around every corner! Walking between the narrow streets of the outer market the locals sell fresh vegetables, dried fish, legumes and of course tonnes of fresh seafood from slabs of bright red/pink tuna to tiny pippies and white bait.
At Tsukiji you really get a sense of how the working class live in Tokyo. Everyone is always busy, whether it’s welcoming you to their stalls or cleaning their shop fronts. There is also an abundance of local street food being prepared. You can imagine the fresh sushi but also the bubbling hot fish stews, barbecued scollops and oysters, as well as freshly made octopus dumplings.
If you love seafood this place is heaven on earth.
Flying goes hand-in-hand with the necessity for stocking up on the latest fashion and fitness journals… ok womens mags (including a little trash, who doesn’t just love looking at the pictures sometimes!). Due to the inflight entertainment, which I have to say is a complete overstatement, the term ‘inflight entertainment’ definitely conjures up thoughts of live music, stand up comedy or dancing girls in my mind. Anyway seeing as I spent most of my recent flight from Sydney to Tokyo either glued to the 6 inch movie screen or trying to sleep whilst I blocked out the noise from the man stilling next to me sucking the remnants of dinner from his teeth I didn’t get around to flicking through my stash of magazines. However as I browsed through the most recent issue of ‘Shop Til You Drop’ one night in our small Ginza hotel room (actually small is an understatement it was more the size of the shoebox bedroom you rent when backpacking through the UK, definitely not possible to swing a cat in, nor a mouse for that matter!), I was excited to see an article on ‘Tokyo’s Ginza District’. Excited for a few reasons, obviously one as I was keen for a little guidance on what to see, where to eat and the best places to shop but also thrilled as I could now defend myself when the Happy Runner accuses me of not pulling my weight in terms of helping to research and plan our trip. And whats more a great excuse for spending the $16.90 on magazines at Sydney airport, by the way how good are those 3 mags for $10 deals at the airport!
So anyway the article talked up a few shopping must dos and a bakery called Rose Bakery. To be honest the initial reason the bakery took my interest was because it was situated amongst a few of the shops I was eager to check out and sounded like the perfect place to park a husband when you need a little retail therapy or in my case “a once in a lifetime opportunity to immerse myself in Japanese fashion….err I mean culture Honey”!
So after a morning spent exploring the Tsukiji Fish Markets in Tokyo (which I’ll cover in another post) we headed back to Ginza where I suggested we check out the Rose Bakery to refuel and plan the rest of the day. I knew the Happy Runner would eagerly agree. Set on the 6th floor of the Dover Street Market in Ginza, the Rose Bakery is a quaint, yet modern cafe/bakery. It’s not over the top fancy and is roomy so you can relax and enjoy the experience rather than being squeezed in like at a popular cafe at Bondi Beach. The menu is simple and includes salads, small burgers (with homemade patties), lunchbox combos (including a few types of salads and fresh frittata or quiche), and of course delicious cakes, slices, puddings and other baked yumminess! The menu also tells you they use organic vegetables when possible, I’m not one to search out organic produce (I don’t believe there is enough science to support it) but a bonus if you prefer it.
I’ve included a few pics that I took as I think pictures tell the story the best.
For those who want to check out the Rose Bakery next time you’re in Ginza the best way to find it is to go through the UNIQLO clothing store which from memory was roughly opposite the gorgeous Prada store on Ginza Street. Walk through the UNIQLO stores’ ground floor to the other side where you can exit and directly opposite is the Dover Street Market. You can take the elevator straight up to level 6 however I recommend taking the escalators up and checking out the minimalistic design of the Dover Street Market shop floors and the odd yet modern art works through out.
To be honest I didn’t get the best sleep last night and it wasn’t because I was in a far away land (like Japan) or because my pillow had as much cushioning as the pile of magazines next to my bed resembling more a pancake than a pillow. Rather it was because my husband (aka the #HappyRunner) is running his fifth world major marathon today. I know… so inconsiderate! It’s not enough that he drags me around the world to the most amazing cities, as he follows his simple yet physically challenging passion for endurance running, he also disrupts my sleep thanks to the nerves and anxiety I carry in hope for his success.
Don’t get me wrong I’m not worried he won’t succeed, I know he’s put the work in and I know he has the mind to push through the 34km mark, where you’re so close yet still so very far. I know he has the VO2 Max to get to the the finish line before the time clock clicks past the three hour mark and I know he’s consumed the carbs needed for such physical exertion.
On a side note let me just say you’ve never seen anyone consume carbs the way he can during the 2-3 days before a marathon. Honestly it’s like he breathes them in. Fellow sports dietitians often tell me their clients struggle to eat enough… not this little black duck (as my mum would say), he has it down pat.
Despite all the reasons that my ‘pre-race’ nerves are a waste of time they’re inbuilt. The marathon can be a beast, you need to respect those 42.2km as once the starters gun has fired what lies between you and the finish line doesn’t always go to plan.
Good luck #HappyRunner.
Update post Tokyo Marathon…
All the nerves, while I agree were seemingly useless, have subsided… the #happyrunner has clocked yet another sub three hour marathon. Couldn’t be prouder. That’s five of the six world majors down and one to go. Bring on London 2015.