Our first full day in Japan was awesome. I'm completely exhausted so I'll keep the recap brief.
We woke up at 6am to check out the famous fish market. The market was pretty cool - the entire supply chain was there from the fish being brought ashore to auctioning the catch to wholesale for restaurants. After walking around the wholesale market we had some amazing, fresh sashimi - perfect way to start the morning.
Next we went to the Imperial Gardens, part of the massive Imperial Palace complex in the heart of Tokyo. The gardens were beautiful and serene. Tokyo has great lots of great parkland which provides a break from the bustle of the city.
After touring the gardens we went over to Open Network Labs, Tokyo's premier incubator. We grabbed a great lunch with Yusuke Takahashi and Taro Fox, two awesome entrepreneurs and talked about their startups AppSocially and AnyPerk, respectively. Then we chatted with HIro Maeda, founder of Open Network Labs, and had a great conversation about the growing Tokyo startup community.
Next we went north to check out the Meiji Shine (very cool) and then off to the next startup: PeaTix. We grabbed tea with Emi Miller and Taku Harada and had an excellent time chatting about startups and the disruptive power of technology; their startup is in the events / ticketing space and they're growing very quickly.
Lastly we met up with fellow WashU alum Nadia Sobehart. She spent two years teaching in rural Japan and is now in an awesome design masters program, tackling tons of interesting projects with design thinking. We grabbed okonomiyaki which is a delicious Japanese cabbage or noodle pancake. We cooked it ourselves on a heated surface built into the table - it was a tricky (we may have butchered our first attempt) but delicious.
Tomorrow we're off to Kyoto to check out the temples, shrines, and castles... should be great!