Monday, July 1, 2013

Tsukiji Fish Market

Tsukiji, Japan (May 27, 2012)

The next morning we attempted to visit the famed Tokyo fish market. The Tsukiji market is by far the largest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world, handling 15% of the total tonnage of fresh and frozen seafood that goes through the entire Japan. The centerpiece of the market is the live auction, where the best fish is sold wholesale in a process resembling the stock market exchange. The live auction is a world famous ritual, and it was the target of our visit. Of course we didn't have a chance. First the auction is closed on Sundays, which was the last day we had left available in Tokyo. Second, the market has a limit of 120 visitors each day, on a first-come first-serve basis. Second (and that for us was the killer) the market opens at 5:00AM (but you need to get there earlier than that to be in the lucky 120) which, if you know us, is kind of an early hour. So, we contented ourselves with strolling in the market area, which is a lively neighborhood with many places where it is possible to have an authentic Japanese breakfast, i.e. raw fish over rice and raw eggs, which I found quite delicious (Mayli less so). We then walked by the waterfront, where I took several photos along the shore of the river Sumida, like the large one above. The smaller photo is instead a picture of a typical gas station in Tokyo. Since in this city every inch of space matters, the nozzles descend on from the roof, where the gas pumps are attached!

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