Spending our time untethering the mind, getting the fidgets out, exploring the in-between ideas, and learning kintsugi.

Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market: It’s see-food

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Early morning at the market Waiting for the rush hour to start Octopus on the menu

We were in Tokyo and we couldn’t possibly go back home without making a pilgrimage to Asia’s largest fish market. The only hitch was that the recommended visiting hours are 5am-8am. According to legend and Lonely Planet, the famous Tuna auction happens at 4am, which many websites informed us, is now closed to tourists. We were going to give it a shot anyway. Or not. At 4 am.

Tired at dawn...

Tired at dawn...

After many days of trial and failure, we did manage to get out of bed early enough. It was the day before our departure from Tokyo. Braving the morning office crowds, we headed to Tsukiji, wrapped in a grey, groggy morning. Alas, we were too late for the Tuna auction, but there was still a lot of raw fresh seafood on sale. There were many different kinds of sea creatures being gutted and gored. Yet the place looked clean and orderly. Gutting, selling, buying, paying, accounting, loading, carting and cleaning all at the same time by the same people.

I couldn’t help but compare it to our neighborhood fish market in Delhi, where chaos reigns supreme. Being located at the Bengali epicenter of Delhi, it is considered one of the best in the city.  It is noisy with loud hawkers and enthusiastic customers  many of whom commute long distances to buy fish from here. And, typical to Indian fish markets, blood, guts and scales are everywhere. Tsukiji was much more sanitary, but equally interesting.

Tsukiji has an adjoining market with little sushi bars and shops that stock everything cooking related. It felt busy and welcoming even at that early hour. Locals were lined up in front of their favourite restaurants so we too, tired as we were with this exhausting early morning outing, treated ourselves to some great sashimi and the famous melt-in-the-mouth fatty tuna. It was that fresh piece of fatty tuna which made the trip worthwhile.

Other photos from the trip:

Yum, Yum, Yummy...

Yum, Yum, Yummy...

Chopping, gutting, descaling ...

Chopping, gutting, descaling ...

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Written by Ankur

August 14, 2009 at 10:19 am

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