Thursday, March 26, 2009
Tsujiki Fish Market, Tokyo Japan
In the summer of 2007, I read an article in Vanity Fair by Nick Tosches about the largest fish market in the world, Tsujiki in Tokyo. The market moves more than 2000 tons of fish every day, occupies over 2 million square feet, and employs nearly 60,000 people. When I finished the extensive piece, I added Tsujiki to the ever-growing list of exotic places I'd love to visit but probably won't get to for years to come. Little did I know, less than two years later, I'd be in Tokyo and up at 4:30 AM to tour Tsujiki.
No perfume, no flash photography, no getting in the way: these are the Tsujiki rules. The motorized carts driven by cigarette-smoking, heavy-lidded dudes stop for no one, certainly not gawking western tourists. One highlight was catching the end of the tuna auction, where bidders compete for the huge frozen tuna pictured above. Another was talking with the propriator of Hicho, a tuna stand in the market that's been around for 150 years. They sell only Yellowfin and Bluefin, primarily fresh. And finally, the morning was topped off by a 7 am sushi breakfast around the corner from the market.