China was work.  Japan is vacation.  I just wish I remembered more of the semester of Japanese I took at MIT.  I hate visiting a country and not being able to communicate.
My room at the Shinagawa Prince.  Not huge, but comfortable and in a great location.
They had a whole street blocked off in Ginza to display these flower arrangements.  Very pretty.
And, the main road was blocked off as well!  Certainly easier to shop.
Target acquired.  The Apple Store is in sight.  I just have to sneak past the gigantic squirrel.
The rotating logo is an attention-getter.
Five stories in the most expensive area, probably, in the world.
And parked out front, these *&#^&% guys.
I couldn’t take pictures in the store, so a quick snap through the door.  The Apple logo is behind the glass elevator!
Shoichi Noguchi, who was one of the space walkers on STS-114.
I to tend to like larger wristwatches, but I think this one might be hard to deal with.
A crappy self-portrait in Ginza, but the only one where I don’t look deranged.
Ginza at night.
And again, long exposure.
It goes on like this for blocks and blocks and blocks.
I was worried about finding some of the stores on Dave’s list once I got to Shinjuku.  Turns out some were easy.
For example, I took this picture while still standing inside the Sinjuku Station!
My answer: “Uh, actually, I really just wanted to throw out my gum wrapper.  Is that okay?”
See the “Shinjuku marathon” blog entry for the story on this pic.
Closeup of the “WOOO” logo.
Sakuraya Camera.
Two more Sakurayas, taken from in front of the one in the last picture!
Bic Camera.  I can’t figure out the katakana on this one.  Dave?
Interesting branding.  I’m pretty sure Prof. Möbius didn’t spell his name that way.
I can’t resist the night shots of these lights.
Akihabara.  Need a cable?
I liked these power strips.  I haven’t seen ones like them before, with a switch for each outlet.
Awesome Mac store.  See the blog for more.
Like many stores I’ve visited here, it’s multiple floors.
I don’t know what “Poser” is, but I like their advertising.
The incredibly awesome Yamagiwa Living store.  Wow.  See the blog for raving.
I’m going to buy one of these.  Maybe two.
Right across the street from Yamagiwa is this very nice little shrine.
The Japanese have neat inventions.  For example, a stand to let you check and reclaim your wet umbrella.
One of several Ishimaru music stores, which seemed to specialize in different genres.
They really, really take duty free seriously.
The (in?)famous “Gaado no Shita” or “Under the Tracks” maze of electrical parts suppliers
Some stuff is mainstream (tools, calculators) and some incredibly esoteric.  I could wander for days.
Need an appliance?
Even monks need cameras.
4am at Tsukiji.  We go to visit the shrine where the workers make offerings, partly in apology for the fish that die.
There are monuments given by various categories of food.  Tamago (sweet egg) merchants gave this one.
In this area, the people who buy at the auction then sell to restaurants and commercial buyers.
It’s a large space.
Frozen tuna.
This guy thaws the tails with hot water...
...while these fellows come by and cut a flap in the tail so that the buyers can inspect the meat.
This fellow did not appreciate our camera flash.
Does this remind anybody else of Alien?
We went right in here.
Fresh tuna.  There’s quite a spectrum of sizes!
Number 01.  The highest-value fish of the day.
This gentleman we would see later in the day as he sectioned up his fish purchases for sale.
Shellfish galore.
Did I mention that the place is huge?
What a beautiful fish.
One of the auctions.  Note the woman in the green hat.  Apparently, a female buyer is quite unusual.
Uni, anyone?  Sea urchin by the acre.
The area below with the blue vats is the live fish area.
Bonito (katsuo).  There’s a very small possibility that I ate part of this very fish for breakfast.
Some of the live fish tanks.
More live fish.
Another auction.  Busier this time.
I just really liked this shot.
This is how they check the swordfish quality.  This was the best of the bunch, as shown by its darker color.
The fresh tuna auction.  The guy with his hand up is the auctioneer, and he and the buyers walk the rows.
Here’s the gentleman we saw earlier, now sectioning up his fish.  See the blog for a movie.
Who wants some tuna?  This is probably $10,000 to $15,000.
The highest-priced uni.  ¥9000 (~$90) per box.
My tour guides.  Sorry for the terrible picture, but I was being hustled into Sushi Daiwa.
Daiwa is not a big place.  They have two counters, but still...
This is my very friendly sushi chef.
The line outside Daiwa after I ate was probably 5x what it was before I went in.
Sushi Dai, just 2 doors down.
There are also vegetables and other goods sold in the periphery of the market.
More good stuff.
If you find this little shrine, you’re 2 minutes from Daiwa.  Turn around...
...and walk down this street, looking down the alleys to your right.
To get to the shrine, you walk (carefully!) down this busy little street, although in the opposite direction from this shot.
This Shell station services the vehicles at the market.  This is your clue to turn left.
Tsukiji 4-chome.  The intersection at the corner of the market.
If you’re walking from Tsukiji station, the Buddhist temple will be on your left.
Although I have become fairly comfortable with the rail and subway system, this chart presented a challenge.
Rush hour on the JR Yamanote.  It was much, much more packed just before I got on.
Start Slideshow