Where Sushi Comes From

We got up at 4:30 AM today and made it to Tsukiji, Tokyo’s wholesale fish market, by 5:30, early enough to watch the tuna auction.

We then wandered the aisles of the vast market…

… where every kind of seafood you can imagine (and some you can’t) are sold…

… and the drivers of these ubiquitous trucks are very tolerant and make every effort not to hit the tourists.

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  1. I’ve been reading your blog for a little while now. I will be in tokyo next week. I’ve heard of the fish auction, and am going to try and make it. Do you have any other recommendations for things that you really enjoyed?

  2. oh now i can’t wait to visit! love seafood. love fish markets. and it feels so much better to actually know and see where your food is coming from when you speak to the farmers/fishermen,etc. thanks for this post, dig the food shots – they make me feel slightly nostalgic.

  3. Divine, I’d love to visit! Fish markets like this are so amazing to me. Yes, lets talk about what you can’t imagine!

  4. You lived my dream! I#m saving for a holiday in Tokyo, another 2 years of saving might do it! The pictures are fab, what fantastic seafood.

  5. ?????????

    I can’t wait to move back and invest in treats such as these. The tuna auction is wild! Thanks for this post.

  6. absolutely gorgeous…how exciting to be there!
    Love your bread pix and fixations..am an original city girl from the mission district – my parent’s deli way back when had fresh bread delivered daily…..actually am posting about currently on my blog on the beet series.

    Anyways – glad I came across wild yeast, look forward to reading more!

  7. love the photos of the fish market in action. what gorgeous looking fresh fish, must have been great to see it all in action! that last photo reminds me of mystic pizza, when julia pours the fish bucket into the prep kid’s convertible. sigh, love that movie! :)

  8. Ahhh. Lived in Japan several years ago for a bit. Imposible, isn’t it, to describe the amazing scope of Tsukiji: size, variety, energy.

    Very best part of a visit? 0600 breakfast at one of the many area sushi bars: fresh fish scooped out of the aquarium, prepared, and served in 15 seconds.

    Unlike anything else in the world.

  9. I literally started drooling while scrolling through the pictures. What a wonderful opportunity.

  10. Ive been to japan over 20 times but have never made the trip to Tsukiji! I will def. be going the next time im in Japan. Great photos!

  11. what a wild in tsukizi ! This is a great site ! I am interested in the food culture of your country so that you are so. And I support your site. If there is time, please come in my site.
    From Japan
    http://food-soybean.blogspot.com/

  12. Wicked cool! Look at the SIZE of those…what are they?!

  13. Jon, if you will be there on a Sunday and enjoy people-watching, take a walk through Harajuku/Yoyogi Park.

    Diva, agreed, though the people here are wholesalers not the fishermen themselves, it is still nice to see where everything passes through and how clean it is.

    Tanna, some of what I couldn’t imagine was the sheer size of much of the shellfish. Also, there were some things we just had no idea what they were, and the people there do not speak English so we were left wondering.

    Helen, I hope you get there! Tokyo is definitely not cheap, but worth it.

    Mike, you lived in Japan? Yes, the tuna auction is crazy, I wish we could have understood what was being said and how much it was going for.

    Tastememorygirl, welcome! Your beet posts are quite lovely.

    Mimi, it’s been a while since I’ve seen that movie, I’ll have to watch it again so I can remember the scene.

    Monoglot, yes, it doesn’t get any fresher than that!

    Derrick, it’s a seafood-lover’s paradise for sure!

    Lina, I definitely recommend it. The native Tokyoites think it’s funny that visitors like to go there — none of them ever do, apparently, unless they’re in the fish/restaurant business.

    Edamame, thanks for visiting. I wish I could read Japanese.

    Neen, the top two photos are of octopus (about as big as my head) and tuna. The others after the photos of the market floor are, from top to bottom, conch, cockle (?), lobster, fatty tuna (looks just like beef), giant scallop (the 12-inch-long shell is shaped more like a mussel), oyster, [I have no idea], and squid.

  14. Way too cool! What a great trip!

  15. unfortunately, the tuna auctions are temporarily suspended until Jan 15th 2009
    http://japansugoi.com/wordpress/tsukiji-tuna-auction-no-tourists-allowed/

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