If you are in Tokyo, one of the most fascinating places to visit is the Tsukiji wholesale market. It is one of the world's largest fish markets which handles over 2,000 tons of marine products a day.
Let me warn you first. In the mornings, it can be an extremely busy place with serious looking sellers and buyers, trucks, forklifts and all sorts of vehicles moving about. You have to watch your step or risk getting run down. On the way to the market, we saw many men heading towards the train station with baskets or boxes filled with seafood. They could be restaurant owners or fishmongers.
Tsukiji Market consists of an inner market where most of the wholesale business and famous tuna auctions take place, and an outer market which caters more to the public.
The tuna auction starts at 5.30am everyday. As if the market is not busy enough, more and more tourists are descending daily, sometimes interfering with the business. My guess is, tourists are not very welcomed here as they can be a hindrance to the business, hence there are some restrictions and guidelines for tourists to follow.
We arrived at 9am and missed the auction. Seeing how busy the inner market was, with forklifts and carts buzzing around, we did not even venture past the gate leading to the wholesale area. It is a really busy place.
The outer market is wonderful in itself and can keep tourists occupied for hours. There are several blocks of retail shops selling fresh seafood (in smaller portions), dried goods, vegetables and fruits, foodstuff, knives, cooked food and groceries. There are enough restaurants and food stalls to satisfy every palette.
|Merchants weaving in and out buying goods for their restaurants.|
|Tamago (sweet egg omelette)|
|There is a row of shops selling tamago in all flavours.|
|Fresh wasabi (horseradish).|
|Fresh edamame (soy bean).|
|I caught a tuna!|
|An Italian restaurant.|
|Bonito - dried and ready for shaving.|
|Shaved good quality bonito is really not cheap.|
|Our favourite snack - freshly made fish cake.|
|Samples of pickles and seasoned seafood.|
|Black garlic is popular here.|
|More fishcakes and snacks.|
|Fresh ginkgo nuts.|
|Stalls selling ramen.|
|We had breakfast here.|
|Sashimi of the freshest kind for breakfast.|
|Miso soup with clams.|
|The restaurant must be famous because a film crew was shooting while we were there.|