Tsukiji Market

I’m not a big fish or seafood person and living in Japan, well, this has its setbacks. But I am never one to turn down a sight-seeing opportunity.  So after yet another hockey game in Tokyo, Andrew and I decided to spend the next day (early morning I should say) at Tsukiji Market.

Tsukijij Market is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the WORLD! I figured it had to be fairly large considering most food dishes here have some type of seafood element mixed in. Not to mention how very large the fish/seafood section is at grocery stores. But I was not expecting to walk into the sheer craziness of what this market is all about. It was beyond insane, beyond chaotic, just pure madness.

In our tour books, they suggest getting to the market around 5:00am in the morning. The market opens well before that, but at 5:00am one can stand in line to get a lottery ticket to observe the tuna auction. With the possibility of not getting a ticket and getting up at 5:00am for nothing, this was not happening. I am not a morning person. And as much as I’d like to force myself out of bed for a once in a lifetime experience, I thought 7:30am would still be a pretty reasonable time to show up. And I’m glad that’s what we did. Upon arriving, we learned that the actual fish market is not open to the public until 9:00am. So we started the morning grabbing a bite to eat and some tea with the local fishermen.

After that we strolled up and down the vegetable and fruits market checking out the produce and goods being sold by local vendors.

At 9:00am sharp, we made our way to the fish market. This was a feat in and of itself. Zigzagging between trucks and motorized carts, we were trying our best not to get trampled. Inside the market, the craziness continued. People were running every which way down the narrow pathways that separated each wholesaler trying to get their business done for the day. As early as 9:00am was for me, it was almost the end of the day for them.

There was a lot to see and take in. The magnitude of how big this market is, is overwhelming. For fear of getting lost and never finding our way out, we didn’t see the whole thing. But we did see some pretty interesting seafood, HUGE tuna, and a business that operates in organized chaos every morning. Check that one off the bucket list!

As always, more pictures from this latest adventure!

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