The next day, we went on for some hiking on another summit of mount Shirane. We were in the middle of the clouds for the greatest part of the day but we enjoyed the hike nonetheless. As a testimony that mt. Shirane is still quite active, there were numerus fumarol, those vents from which volcanic gas escape. The air was foul-smelling (like rotten eggs) because of the high sulfur content (H2S Hydrogen sulfide).
Mount Shirane is an active volcano of 2160m in the prefecture of Kusatsu. Close access to the crater was restricted, perhaps because of hazardous amounts of sulfur in the air. Despite some cloud cover, the view was quite impressive.
The Tsukiji fish market is probably one of the biggest fish markets in the world, where millions of dollars are spent everyday on high quality sushi-grade fish. The major “auctions” are usually done early in the morning and not accessible to the public but visitors can still wander around between rows of fish sellers. There are also some small sushi and sashimi restaurants on site for the freshest raw fish experience!
Ueno is a large park located in the city of Taito. Attractions found in Ueno park include, among others, a zoo and the Tokyo national museum. During our visit, we had the chance to observe the Japanese champion of “Kendama”, a game that consists of catching a ball with a specially crafted wooden stick. A small lake on which you can ride a swan boad seems also to be quite popular among Japanese nationals.
On our way to Ueno Park, we walked on Kappa Bashi (Kappa Street) where many Kappas are usually seen. Kappas are mystical creature of Japanese folklore. They are small reptilian-looking creatures with an humanoid form. They usually inhabit ponds and rivers of Japan, but can sometimes be seen in Tokyo on Kappa Bashi! They usually have a shell or carapace on their back similar to turtles. They have also have what we could name a “plate” on top of their head, which they have to keep wet when they venture out of the river.