Monday, March 16, 2009

Tsukiji Fish Market

Well, a lot has happened since I last updated my blog and it’s a shame that I didn’t finish off my travels in Japan sooner but better late than never right. After I had returned from my unforgettable trip to Fukuoka, it was my turn to play tour guide. Calvin Siow, a good friend from Georgetown, had just finished studying abroad in Australia and by late November, he decided to come and visit for around 10 days. I put Calvin up in my dorm and gave him a bunch of places to check out while I was in classes and I have to say he did a great job of getting out and exploring Tokyo.

(Calvin and me, during his first night in Tokyo)

During his first full day in Japan, I showed him around the neighboring area of Akasaka and we looked around the Akasaka Shinto shrine together at night with my other buddy Sean. Afterwards, we ate at a small Japanese restaurant in town since Calvin was really eager to try some authentic Japanese food.

Having Calvin with me was a great way to get me looking around the city again, because by this point I had settled into a regular habit of things. With his desire to go out and see Tokyo’s major tourist attractions it finally gave me the opportunity to check out the famous Tsukiji fish market.

The market opens up at 5:00 am and all the tourist books recommend getting there as soon as possible, so we rolled out of bed at 4:30 and jumped on the subway over to Tsukiji. It was still dark out being up so early, but the market was packed full of people and machinery running across the entry streets.

Shortly after entering the main seafood hall, we were surrounded by stalls full of fresh fish brought in that very morning. There were many fishmongers filleting up whole tuna right in front of all the tourists and buyers.

We noticed that some of the foreigners had paid for tour guides to take them around and explain all the intricacies of doing business at the market and I took the opportunity to listen in a few times. Apparently the auction rooms were very exciting to see in the past, but they decided to close it off to tourists within the past year since too many people were getting in the way and slowing things down. I could definitely see their argument, the walkways were extremely narrow and we were both almost hit numerous times by the people rushing around.

It was a spectacle to see everything working in harmony and looking through the fresh fish laid out in front of us. While we didn’t buy anything directly from the market, Calvin and I ate at a nearby restaurant where we ordered a bowl of rice and sashimi along with some of the freshest sushi you’ll ever taste in your life.

1 comment:

Lee whitney said...

konigiwa. wa da si wa Whitney. And it's happy to view Japan from your travel blog. (actually read them for couples of months.) :)