An update from Sam Puri, who is participating in the Global Leadership Program in Japan and China:
Continuing from my previous blog post, on our first official day in Japan, we had the whole day to ourselves to check out Tokyo and did not have any school commitments for the day. As you can imagine, many of the MBA students took this opportunity to explore Tokyo and learn more about the city.
Due to my jet lag I was awake by about 5 AM. Many of the other students were experiencing jet lag as well, so many of us were in the lobby trying to figure out what to do by 8 AM. After speaking with Michael Kaplan and Professor Walker, we knew that the fish market was a unique part of Japan that was worth seeing.
I left the Keio Plaza Hotel where we were staying with about ten other MBAs to see what the fish market was all about. None of us had been to Japan before, so we had to really rack our brains to figure out the public transportation system in Tokyo. Fortunately, many of the signs at the subway were in both Japanese and English, so we were able to figure out the right path to get to the fish market. Some interesting notes about the subway system in Tokyo:
- People stand in exactly straight lines while waiting for the subway
- The subway ride itself is extremely quiet
- There is not enough space on the subway trains for everyone
After adapting to a little of the culture shock noted above, we were able to finally make it to the fish market. The fish market closed for business at 10 AM, but it was still possible to tour until noon. There were many distinct smells coming from many of the different types of fishes, both dead and alive. I was amazed to see all of the different kinds. There were definitely specific types of fish that I had never seen before! Here are some pictures I took while at the fish market.
After the fish market we made our way to Harajuku, which is a great area for shopping and is on the way to Shibuya. Shibuya is basically the Times Square of Tokyo, which is featured a bit in the Lost in Translation and Fast & Furious Tokyo Drift movie. I grabbed some unique Japanese candy from Candy-A-Go-Go, which is featured extensively in the “Hello Kitty” music video by Avril Lavigne. The candy tasted a bit unique and has an explosive shock type of flavor once you bite into it.