Saturday, July 09, 2005

Tsukiji Fish Market

Saturday morning we went to the Tsukiji Fish Market which is on the Sumida River in Tokyo. Tsukiji is where most of Tokyo's fresh seafood arrives and is distributed. Restaurateurs arrive bright and early at 5am to select the freshest tuna and other foods. We arrived closer to 7am, but the place was still bustling with activity. Never in my life have I been in danger of being run over by so many different vehicles! We had to avoid bicycles, handcarts, motorized carts, small vans, scooters, motorcycles, and trucks. (Alright, there wasn't anyone on horseback, but it was still crazy!) The inner market is where most of the major seafood distribution occurs.

The most impressive fish for sale are the huge frozen tuna carcasses (usually missing the tail) that are lined up in various areas. They are auctioned off first thing in the morning and a big number painted on the side of each one so they know who owns it. Most of them appeared to weigh almost as much as me!

The other fun part of the market is to see the sheer variety of fish available. In a way, it was a little disturbing because the fish all had a rather desperate look as if they're saying "Help me! Help me!" Of course, for most of them it was already too late anyway, but we did see some live ones in tanks. Here are some of the more interesting specimens, including pickled octopus arms and an
ouroboros (almost).

"Save me!"

After hitting the inner market we wandered around the external market where ordinary folks like us can buy fish and other goods. Fresh fruit isn't exactly cheap at the seafood market. The watermelons are about $20 and the small box of cherries is $28.

We stopped at a little sushi joint and had some of the freshest sushi either of us had ever tasted. Pictures below...


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