Monday, August 3, 2009

Tsukiji Fish Market @ Tokyo

We had a day in Tokyo before going up north. I have always wanted to see the tuna auction here in one of the biggest wholesale fish markets in the world, so Tsukiji fish market was the obvious first choice.
We were staying in Shinjuku and the evening before had planned the subway route to the market. We left the hotel at 5 am but didn't count on how complicated and disorientating it would be for first timers navigating the Shinjuku subway station. Cut a long story short, we didn't make it to the auction in time, we arrived a little past 6 am and only witnessed the frenzied zig zagging of the turret trucks whizzing out of the auction with their catch of the day. I am optimistic that I will return in the not too distant future (better still with hubby) to fulfill this dream.
Luckily for us we did manage to witness the amazing skill in carving a whole tuna.

It took these two men a good 5 minutes to get the head off this fresh tuna.

The older man (obviously the more experienced) slit the fish right in the center lengthwise.

He passed the long blade to the younger man who cut deeper into the slit and eventually a quarter (lengthwise) of the fish came off cleanly.

This shot from another stall paints a clearer picture. Look at the blade used. It was about 1.5 meter in length and looked super sharp.

Here it took three men to complete the job.

I wonder what they do with these left-overs? I know for sure they do not waste any parts of the fish.

Three of the many blades used to fillet the tuna.

The flesh was then carefully trimmed and voila, sashimi to go.

Did witnessed an auction in progress...

For gingko nuts.

To make the most of the rest of the day we went round the whole market and the area surrounding it, we discovered there were much more to this market than just tuna auction.

Seafood section

Vegetable section



With sharpening service too.

And of course, the food.

A sashimi don with delicious crab meat. Pit Fung finally became a sashimi convert after this meal.

Assorted sushi.

This place was Disneyland to me and it was hard to leave.


Mee said...

What an experience to have a chance to witness these amazing skills! It makes me appreciate more the sashimi I consumed.

Precious Pea said...

I was told the tuna auction is not open to public. Anyway..nice shots!! Am salivating looking at the sashimi don. Yumyum. My hubby packed a whole box of sea urchin from this market to bring home and it was so cheap and needless to say, heavenly good!

terri@adailyobsession said...

yes yes tsukiji market rocks! pp, it's true tt the auction is closed to the public but we can watch from the side. as long as u don't get in the way, they are okay with it but kids r strictly not allowed bc of the little forklifts tt zip here n there. n contrary to what ppl say, the auction is done in a very quiet n polite way, no shouting.

the sashimi at tsukiji market is totally different frm the restarants. i was amazed by the sea urchin, they tasted heavenly n so diff from what i ate b4!agree with u, i can stay in tsukiji market for a day. even the pickles section was interesting:D

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

omg..i think i would b in heaven from seeing so much tuna!

Pureglutton said...

Wow...this is one place i must visit if i go to Tokyo!

frank said...

Oh my, look at all the sashimi's and seafood and all the other's simply amazing. Someday I'm going and yes, definitely spend a day there :p

Great photos Jo!

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Shan said...

Yay you're blogging regularly again :)

Love your blog posts and your photos on foof and travel. Looking forward to more.