Tsukiji Market by Michael Mc Carthy

7am Tuesday November 17th 2015 and we leave the apartment and head out for our first sushi experience in a small family run restaurant at the Tsukiji fish market. It was a bit of a risk going there when we don't normally eat raw fish, however it would be a real shame to miss the chance to experience the best sushi in the world, fresh from the sea. We had the added advantage of being treated by Ann, the best guide, cook and host in Tokyo.

We went for the B set, 8 pieces, two rolls, plus soup and tea. The small restaurant is a third generation business, with a counter seating about 12 people in a row. We sat at the end beside the kitchen from where we were served green tea and miso soup by the women working in there. Two chefs, could be father and son, prepared the sushi behind the counter and handed it over to us. We also got some pickled ginger on a small dish to help digestion. The sushi was really filling, I didn't expect to be almost full after after three pieces, but kept going though as this task had to be completed :)

I was really surprised that my favourite piece was eel even though it was hairy :( followed by tuna. I had difficulty with the raw squid, a real challenge and one for me to miss if I ever return. The meal was full of flavour, not sure it would be my favourite breakfast, but would definitely do it again as we really enjoyed the experience.

My Camera had to stay in the bag as no photos were allowed so I have no photos from inside, but here are a few taken on our way in.

Sushi Restaurant

Feeling full and happy to have completed the experience we headed off to the second part of the morning, another highlight of our trip to Japan, Tsukiji (tsu-kee-jee) Fish Market, the largest in the world.

Visitors/tourists are not allowed in to the market until after about 8:30am as it they have got in the way of traders in the past, it was still fairly busy when we went in, we stayed until it began to close at about 10am.

You need to watch out for these vehicles, they move fairly fast through the market.

Tokyo’s first fish market began life a few miles north of Tsukiji about 400 years ago on a spot next to the original Edo castle (long since razed), and close to Nihonbashi Bridge in today’s business district. Fish not consumed by the castle were sold on the streets here, and this is where Edomae-style sushi, now beloved around the world, first evolved. Several Tsukiji companies can trace their histories to this original market, which was lost to the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923. Tsukiji replaced it, opening in 1935.

Crab boxes
Cod Roe
end of trading
Shopping for our dinner :)
Tuna Cart & Fish Cakes
End of Day Clearing

Polystyrene cannot be used again for food storage so these boxes are melted down and exported for recycling. They are crushed and rendered down into small hard blocks for ease of transport. They can be recycled into plastic objects such as children's toys.

Fish waste material is used as chicken farm feeds amongst other things.

We were so lucky to get to visit the market as it is moving to a new modern facility in October 2016. Some of the local restaurants will follow but it won't be the same as what we got to experience.

Some Additional Information

Covers 58 Acres

  • Registered employees 60,000 to 65,000

1,500 stalls

Number of motorised vehicles moving in the market daily: as many as 17,000

The tuna auction starts at 5:30, you can register to see it on the day.

100 tons of waste material is produced each working day

Annual Turnover 4.5 to 6.5 Billion US$

Up to 2,500 tuna of 150 different grades can pass through the market in a single day.

The record price, for a 222kg fish, was just over £1m.

Hope you enjoyed this.

The End
Created By
Michael Mc Carthy

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