Famous Fish Market
Trip Start May 08, 2006
9Trip End May 21, 2006
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Lonely Planet listed this as the number one thing to do in Tokyo and beyond Sumo and maybe baseball they are on the mark. We got up early (5:30 AM) to jump on the Subway to make it down to the Tsukiji Fish Market. It was raining outside which added to the feel of the trip (I guess the only Fish Market I know is the Seattle one from watching Real World Seattle on MTV...sad I know!)
The trains were pretty empty beyond the other white people going to the fish market. We got out of the Subway station and did the typical thing and waited for some other white people to lead the way until we realized everyone was doing the same thing. So we pulled out our Lonely Planet and started walking. As we would come to learn, the Japanese don't allows put up the best signs for things and we arrived at a busy warehouse entrance and decided to go in
It was filled with sellers, buyers, workers, and yes a couple trillion fish and fish product. You just walked down the aisles and got caught up in the energy of the market. People cutting huge fish, people placing huge orders, people holding small wicker baskets buying their lunch or dinner. There were loads of fish I had never seen and to be honest, wished I hadn't seen. It was like a twisted Christmas dream, with thousands of white boxes, they were actually coolers, of surprises. You never knew what you were going to see next.
We walked around for an hour or so, taking pictures, watching the crowds, and being amazed at the number and different kinds of sea goers (both fish and fishermen). It started to slow down and we decided to head out, but not before we had some breakfast.
There are a bunch of little (seats like 10 at a bar) Sushi places inside the Fish Market. Our first choice was packed with Japanese Businessmen in dark suits eating Sushi and drinking beers before work. So basically not something you see everyday. We kept trying to find some room, but they seemed packed or really really expensive. So we did the worse thing possible...we went into the cheap (still $20 for a small plate) and empty sushi bar. We ordered some sashimi, but couldn't do the beer this early in the morning, plus my stomach was still trying to recover the fish market (sights, smell, muk, etc.) We ate our Sushi, which was OK at best (You quickly realize that good sushi isn't just freshness but a quality fish). By the time we left other local people had come in to have breakfast, which made us feel better at least mentally.