Thursday, May 8, 2008

Kodomo no Hi : Children's Day

During Kodomo No Hi (Children's Day), families raise colorful carp-shaped "Koinobori" flags, one for each member of the family. The largest and uppermost flag represents the father, followed by the mother, and small carp to represent children.

Children's Day is a Japanese national holiday which takes place annually on May 5, the fifth day of the fifth month, during the Golden Week period. It is a day set aside to respect children's personalities and to celebrate their happiness. To expel evil spirits and celebrate the future of their sons, families hoist koinobori (cloth carp streamers) from balconies and flagpoles.

Kintarou (金太郎) is the childhood name of a hero of the Heian period, famous for his strength as a child. It is said that Kintarou mounted on a bear, instead of a horse, and played with animals in the mountain when he was a young boy.Some children may also take shyobuyu (a bath with floating iris leaves), and eat kashiwa-mochi (a rice cake wrapped in an oak leaf ) and chimaki (a dumpling wrapped in bamboo leaves). Carp, samurai, irises, oak trees, and bamboos all symbolize strength.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tsukiji Fish Market

Today i went to Tsukiji Fish market, known to be one of the largest fish markets in Asia. I reached there about 1pm, but as you can see in the picture below, there wasnt much going on then.

As you know, those fish mongers usually do their business early in the morning. Their fish trading usually end by 10am - which is way too early for me to reach there by then (i hate waking up early...:)
So, below are some photos which i found on the internet.. its pics of the "action" that takes place every morning there.... haha....

wow... seems very happening....

Instead of waking up at 7am and making my way there to see the actual action, i guess the vicarious thrills from these pics is enough for me

Beside there, there was a place called "Tsukiji Outer market" which was opened the whole day. There were smaller fishmonger shops and restaurants there.

Some life seafood being sold at stalls....

I found a long queue of pple in one of the streets..

Upon looking closer, i understood why... There wyere selling Fish-Dons for only 900yen!! Its freaking cheap!!!
So, i immediately joined the queue. After a 30min wait, i was treated to this Salmon and "fish-egg" Don prepared by the chef.

Delicious!!! The orange fish-eggs in the middle were so fresh!!