Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Welcome to Tokyo, home of cool fish markets

When we made our plans to be in Tokyo - everyone we met who had been there before told us we had to visit the fish market. And that we had to go early. Since we were on New Zealand time when we first arrived, it made sense to go the first day. And so we went.

The market in general is fascinating, but the tuna auctions are the real highlight. Basically, you walk up to a doorway where you are allowed to peek in at (but not enter) a room full of dead fish. It's cooler than it sounds. Tuna are huge! And tasty! (And filled with mercury, so I don't eat them.)

Me and the big tunas

After some quality time watching people yell about and haul around giant tunas, we explored the rest of the market that we had only quickly walked through on the way in. The market is full of aisle upon aisle of fish vendors. I walked around fascinated and imaging what it would be like for this to be my daily life. I'd definitely have to learn to smoke cigarettes, drive around on moving barrels (sorry I didn't get a picture of this) and inhale diesel fumes. But at least I would eat well...

The fish on offer were scary and beautiful and so unusual for us.

Alex, scarred for life after seeing too many weird and dead fishies

Then the vendors started getting their tuna. And cutting up their tuna. And the tuna is huge. So there are a lot of people involved with the tuna sawing. Makes you really appreciate the tuna on your plate. If you ate tuna, that is.

Giant 1/4 tuna slabs

Super big knives are involved

And the best part about going to the fish market? Sushi for breakfast in the very early a.m. We went to Sushi Dai, recommended by our hotel concierge for its extremely long lines. At least that's what we wondered at first. But really, it was excellent. The best sushi we ever ate. Except the creepy shellfish delicacy they served me. I need to find a way to purge that from my memory. But everything else was excellent.

Our sushi man

Our sushi

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