Monday, November 22, 2004

Tsukiji-Shijou (Fish Market)

I somehow managed to drag myself out of bed this morning at 7am to get ready to go down to visit Tokyo's fish market with Ben. I didn't sleep until after 3am last night because of the fact I only woke up at 3pm that afternoon...

Getting to the fish market took about 15 minutes walking from Shimbashi station. The place was bustling with activity even though we only got there about 9.45 or so. (The lonely planet guide book recommends you just arrive before 10am to make sure you don't miss out on all the action... but i think the place is probably already starting to wind down by then)

The place really is big for a place that just sells fish. We walked for about half an hour in a straight line before we got from one end of the place to the other. But then again, we were stopping to look at things quite frequently so i'm not really sure how long the place was. I think we foreigners were probably as interesting to the stall owners as the hundreds of types of seafood were to us. One of the stall owners actually came up to us and was so shocked that we actually understood some Japanese hehe. Anyway, on to the photos.

At the fish market

These are the biggest prawns i've ever seen (to get some idea, those little looking prawns behind are actually about the length of my hand)

And some pretty huge octopus tentacles too

When we'd completed our walk down one of the many aisles, we had all seen about as much as we wanted to and decided to start looking for somewhere to get some of the fresh seafood onto a plate and into our stomachs. On the way out I found out what they do to the live fish that haven't been sold. They take them out of the water and cut them in half. Cool huh. Poor fishies. Not that getting cut into slices for sushi while you are still alive is any better i suppose.

I was expecting the place to smell quite badly considering how much fish there was lying around, but surprisingly it didn't. What was bad though, was the place we went to eat some sushi did smell kind of fishy. Let's just hope that wasn't because the fish they were using was going off...

Having fresh sushi there i suppose was nice, but honestly, i don't particularly find it much better than the supermarket sushi i can buy every day on the way home. Still, it's part of the experience.

Walking back to the station took a bit longer than getting there because we'd gone on a bit of a detour to get to a sushi place. We passed a (the?) Nissan office though, and they had a skyline on display which i thought some of you might like to have a look at:

The Japanese Nissan Skyline

Rear view

It looks quite similar to their luxury sedan here which i forgot the name of now (but was on display right next to the skyline).... Oh and according to an article in the paper, that new luxury sedan has this new automatic distance control thing which works even at low speeds. So you can just leave it to control the car when you're stuck in a traffic jam without having to pedal :)

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