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My Walks of Life

Tsukiji Market

JAPAN | Saturday, 12 April 2008 | Views [1023]

The day has come to try the REAL raw fish. Throughout my short stay in Tokyo, I've been dreading this day.

Tokyo has been a wonderful city. To me, Tokyo is bright lights, pretty girls and the city that never sleeps, well part of the city anyway - I stayed near the Shinjuku area, and Shinjuku stayed bright through midnight and beyond.

Then I set my alarm clock for 5.30 in the morning, and the Tokyo I knew changed instantly. I struggled to get up after the daily late nights, but I thought I should, just to sample the real deal - sushi at its best.

Had a cup of milk to fill the tummy a bit, as the deal is to go to Tsukiji Market to have breakfast. I can't stomach raw fish on an empty stomach, so I thought a glass of milk will at least cushion the experience. I guess the logic is based on beer being bad on empty stomach.

Managed to navigate through the Tokyo Train Maze, even in the early hours of the day. Reached Tsukiji Market before 7am without much hiccup. So far so good. Now where's this market...

It wasn't too difficult to find, as there were many tourists like us heading to the same direction. And then the commotion begins.

Well, it began much earlier before we even arrived. The auctions started at 5am, according to the local news on TV. We saw workers driving around in oversized cans.

The manoeuvrability of this tin can is amazing! It turns a 360 without taking up much space. Many a times, they have to stop immediately to give way to trucks and people. Of course, we're not talking about 0-60mph in 3 seconds (i don't think it can reach 60mph), but it's stop-start flexibility is quick by human standards!

And then there were the rows of fish. I can't name most fish most of the time, but where we stood, I can't even name one of them! Ok, i could name "Salmon", i guess that's it. There are small ugly ones...

And then there are octopuses (i think)...

And then there's this man trying to direct where all these sea creatures go.

Ok. Enough about the market. Where's breakfast? And then we saw the queue. We head straight to the end of the line and pointed to some pictures on the menu board. We aren't allowed to take pictures in the food joint itself (it's very cramp anyway), but it looked exactly like in the pictures.

It's FRESH, to say the least. There weren't any fishy smell at all. Just cold fish on warm rice. Mixed wasabe with the soya sauce, and down it swam into the stomach.

4 hours later...

The stomach is still ok! I guess we should be ok for the rest of the trip.

Tags: food, japan, tokyo, walk

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