Japan Memories #15: Tsukiji Fish Market

Travel Date : 29th March (Thurs)

Tsukiji Fish Market

It’s a must to go early to see the fish auction but as usual, we (actually me) couldn’t wake up early as planned. We walked to the Mitsukoshimae Station, taking the metro to Tsukiji Station. From Tsukiji Station, it was long walk to finally reach the Tsukiji Fish Market.

Reaching the Tsukiji Area, it was another strange place to us.

There was a row of cars parked by the roadside and no pedestrian walkway so Vin walked in front while I walked behind him, keeping to the side of the road. While walking, I was hit hard by someone on a bicycle who cycled past us and pain coursed through my arm. (This was not the first time I was shoved roughly by a guy while walking in Tokyo, even though there was a huge stretch of walking path…)

Hence, on reaching the bizarre inner market, I was reluctant to go any further for fear I would get hit again. I always have the phobia of crossing busy traffic roads and this seemed dangerous to me. Vin was disappointed about that as he did so wanted to see the huge seafood and exotic ones.

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Breakfast

No cooked sushi! We tried to look for a suitable shop for breakfast but they were all raw sushi and we don’t eat raw sushi except salmon. Hence, we were disappointed again.

We settled for this small stall with a counter table. Hanging on the side of the wall was the familiar words “ 鮭wa 鱼yu”  and we knew that meant salmon fish.

We tried confirming with the owners and they nodded after several tries. They looked reluctant to serve us but we didn’t care since we were hungry and it was difficult to find places to eat (Everywhere was crowded or too expensive). When we ordered and sat down, we noticed no one wanted to sit beside us at all and the stall owners’ faces looked ‘black’. They must be thinking we were chasing their customers away. Frankly, this was the first place we experienced this treatment as a foreigner. They are usually surprised to see us but never shunned.

Except for a few areas, we had been the only non-locals walking around these few days (Foreigners in Japan weren’t a common sight seven years ago, maybe even now…).

We were given a bowl of rice with just a few scattered salmon pieces on top. It looked simple but the price was cheap and we found it rather fresh and delicious. While the atmosphere was lively just now before we sat down, no one talked now. We quickly finished the food and left the table. The owners immediately resumed their happy faces and greeted new customers who suddenly appeared from no-where and filled up the spaces immediately. =.=”

Sight-Seeing Seafood Stalls

After breakfast, we walked around the area to look at the interesting displays of sea products at the stalls. Some were an eye opener for us.

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Our Planned Itinerary:

(Morning to Evening)

  • Wake up and Breakfast 1 hr
  • Walk to Mitsukoshimae Station
  • To Tsukiji Station
  • Walk to Tsukiji Fish Market (6.30am end of auction and stalls are set up)
  • Breakfast
  • Take a sight-seeing boat up Sumida River to Asakusa
  • Arrive at Nakamaise Dori, Asakusa (to buy souvenirs)
  • Walk to Sensoji Temple
  • Walk to Asakusa Station to go to Ueno Station
  • Visit Ueno Park (Cherry Blossoming)(Ueno Park is just next to Ueno Station. Easiest Access is provided by the station’s “Park Exit”.

(This entry is from our Travel Scrapbook of Japan in 2007)

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