i’ve been wanting to go out late in japan ever since i first got here. there’s just so much nightlife here! unfortunately, the trains stop running at 1am so that kind of makes things difficult. there are only three options: 1) end the night early and be finished by 1am. 2)stay out later and then pay an insane amount of money for a cab. 3) be ultrahardcore and stay out till 5am when the trains start up again. we’re already spending too much money here as it is, and when you go out it costs like 25$ to get in anywhere and then at least 7$ per drink afterwards, so spending yet even more money on a cab is just too much. so realistically our options are stay out till 1 or stay out till 5. the thing is, 5am just seems to be way too long, so usually we wus out and take the last train home that night. not last night though.
we started out the night by going to eat shabu-shabu. this was one of the all you can eat shabu shabu places and it was so good. there’s just nothing like having medium-rare meat cooked at your table, as much as you want. we ate so much meat that it was ridiculous. we literally ate till we could eat no more. we almost had to crawl out of the restaurant. oh, and one of the cool things about the restaurant was that this was the restaurant where the main characters ate in Lost in Translation.
after dinner we decided to go find a bar. we didnt want to go anywhere too crazy, just a chill spot to have some drinks. we ended up finding the perfect place, the insomnia lounge. this place was so dope looking inside. you take your shoes off at the door, and then you walk through the place on red fuzzy carpets. the whole place is all red and glowy and the decor is really awesome and stylish. you drink at low tables while sitting on pillows on the floor. the ambience in the place was just so cool.
after a couple drinks, we headed out to the next bar. we read about this place online that was a tiny little hole in the wall bar. this place was so small that it didnt have a name and there was no sign or anything posted out front. people pretty much only found out about it through word of mouth. the place was decorated with all sorts or random kitschy stuff and ended up being a really cool spot. surprisingly, the drinks there were hella cheap by japan standards… all drinks were 5$! more and more people came in as the night went on and soon the place was getting crowded.. well, as crowded as a tiny bar like that can get. it was some girl’s birthday, and her friends brought cake and soon everyone was pasing cake around. the crowd there was really nice and people came over and tried to talk to us in as much english as they could. this bar was exactly the type of place we wanted to hang out in and we ended up chilling there till 4am.
we stumbled out of the bar and whoa! daylight! tokyo is pretty far north and so during the summer here it gets light really early. it was a really eerie feeling to see it be so light out at 4am. we walked through the main intersection at shibuya, and for the first time ever, this intersection that is constantly packed w/ a sea opf people, was empty. it was almost surreal to be the only people out there.. nobody where there should be tons of people, light where there should be darkness. weird.
we were all starving and so we grabbed a quick bite to eat at mcdonalds and it was then that caryn had her brilliant idea. there is this famous fishmarket in tokyo called tsukiji. pretty much all the fish eaten in the city comes through this market (around 2,000 tons of seafood per *day*)and because of the insane activity there, this market has become a major toursit attraction. the problem is that all the action begins at 5:30am. you *have* to get there early. we’ve been wanting to go see the market for a while now, but just couldnt bring ourselves to get out of bed that early. so, when caryn suggested we go check out the fishmarket right there and then, we all were totally psyched. here’s our chance! minutes later we were on the metro zooming across town. during the ride, we got more and more tired, and after a while we started being unsure whether staying up to go see fish was such a good idea.. but we had to take our opportunity!
eventually we got to the market. it was so crazy. tons and tons of different species of sea creatures and stuff stacked up all over the place. people scurried left and right fetching boxes. the ground everywhere was slippery w/ water and fish guts. workers zoomed by at high speed on delivery carts. such a crazy scene. definitely the most random thing i’ve ever done after staying up all night partying. eventually we made it to the actual tuna auction. humongous tuna fish all over the place. these things were so big! it was kinda sad to see these huge fish all laid out onthe ground dead. i started kind of questioning whether i would be able to eat sushi for breakfast…. one of the things to do here is to eat sushi that is pretty much fresh off the boat.
well, despite the carcasses, we decided to go for it and soon were seated at a sushi bar in the marjket. i gotta say, this was the absolute best sushi i have ever tasted. the fish was just so damn good. insanely fresh. i’m sure this will be the best sushi i will ever taste. unfortunately, the price definitely reflected the taste. each *single* piece of sushi was 5 bucks. so yeah, a pair of nigiri, which usually at home would be 3$ to 6 was 10 bux. totally worth it though.
eventually we staggered back to the metro and then back to our place to go to sleep. sooo tired…. on the way back, when we got to shibuya station, we ended up seeing these 2 guys totally passed out on the station floor. holy crap.. one of them was this guy we had been talking to earlier in the bar! he had said he was supposed to be at work at 9am… but he was still totally drunk at the bar at 4am when we left. he must have staggered to the station when the bar closed and decided to sleep on the station floor until work time. it was just so random that we saw that guy again! it’s funny cause there are times when you see just random people passed out here and there and think “whoa! where the hell did this guy come from? how did he end up here sleeping on the train station floor during rush hour?” well… this time we knew exactly where the dude came from andhow everything happened to him…