Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Tsukiji wholesale market

What could have motivated a night owl like me to wake up at half past 4 in the morning? Yes, it is the world famous Tsukiji wholesale market! 早起的人有鱼吃! I've seen this market featured on Discovery Travel Channel too many times that it is a must see for me in Tokyo.

I already reached Tsukiji market before 6am that morning. Joining me was my Japanese colleague who was there for the first time. My gosh, the place is bursting with colours! Look at the variety of seafood, fruits and pickles that you can find in this market. Did you see the squarish persimmons?

The selections of food stuff available here are of such wide varieties and some are unique to Japan. My colleague was busy using her Jap-English translstor to explain to us the various names of the food we saw and some of them literally have no English translation.

The market is well renowned for the tuna fish auction. I was amazed to see the fish in whole for the first time. My, they were huge! One man was busy shouting the bids while the rest examined the fish carefully, putting up offers for those which they thought were the best. Unfortunately, even my Jap colleague could not figure out what exactly was the man shouting.

Can't tell what these are? Look so much like beef but they are not (the market does not sell meat or poultry). These are flesh of whale. On the right are the skin and fat of the whale fish. Reminds me so much of the pork lard which the Chinese use in their cooking. Once again, 大开眼界!

This old gentleman was handling a bucket full of prawn-like crustacean. Eeks, they were all alive and crawling while the old man put his hand into it.

Ta Da! You must learn about this vegetable. This is wasabi, our favourite condiment on Japanese restaurant tables.

Tsukiji is absolutely a great place to visit and I recommend those visiting Tokyo not to miss it. Furthermore, the market is located just beside a subway station and the train services start real early in the morning. So, you will have no problem getting there by yourself. However, do note that the market is close on Sundays (according to internet source).

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