Tsukiji Fish Market
We all got up around 5 am, and hurriedly got ready to go check out the Tsukiji Fish Market. The early morning fish auction here used to be a popular tourist attraction, but it became so crowded with people that tourists are no longer allowed! (If they were, we would have had to get up at 3 am!) Instead, we toured the famous fish market, which is like a giant warehouse of every kind of fish imagineable. If it lives in the sea, you could probably find it here! We had to be careful not to be run over by one of the many small motorized scooter-carts that were being driven constantly down the aisles, as we walked among the stalls. Giant frozen tunas were being cut into slices with bandsaws, large Char were being cut by hand with long machete-like knives.
Cutting up fish with bandsaws
Boxes and buckets of eels, clams, whelks, squid, octopi, and every type of fish you could think of, were stacked and piled high. There were hundreds of workers there, and every single one was actively involved in processing or transporting some type of seafood product. We walked around all the stalls, taking in the sights, being careful not to get run over! When we were bored of that, we walked to an adjacent shopping area to look for breakfast.
We wanted to have sushi for breakfast (it would seem like the thing to do around here!) You cannot get sushi fresher... it is literally right off the boat....unloaded less than 100 yards away just a couple hours ago! We found a nice little place in the market area that was empty except for us.
( it was still before 7 am) We ordered the biggest variety platter they had, and watched the proprietor expertly prepare it in front of us. Doug was a sushi virgin, and was more that a little nervous about trying raw fish for the first time! He even asked us if he could have his "fried up a little" Haha, no, sorry! Whan in Rome, ya know? Still, despite his reservations, he was willing to give it the old college try. Actually, can you think of a better
place to try sushi for the first time, than outside the biggest fish market in Tokyo?? He ate about 3/4ths of what was put in front of him, but passed the rest off on Dave and Lee, who happily took the extra servings. It was excellent, many varieties wrapped and rolled in rice with just a touch of Wasabi, and saucers of soy sauce for dipping. By the end, Doug was looking about as green as the Wasabi! They also gave us soup and green tea to complete the meal. It was only around 7:30am when we finished breakfast, so we took the subway back to the hotel to get ready for the rest of the day.