Five years ago, we went to the Tsukiji Fish Market to experience the tuna auction. However, we made a huge mistake of not checking the schedule. The auction was canceled because of the March 11 earthquake. The tuna auction is often listed as one of the must-do things in Tokyo. And with the news of the market’s possible relocation at the end of the year, we again decided to give it a go.
a giant tuna
from wasabi-green sea to
a pool of soy sauce
There are certain guidelines to be followed. Gates open at 230 am and the market will only accept 120 persons (60 persons per batch). The first batch will enter the auction area at 525 am for 25 minutes. That would mean you have more or less 3 hours to wait. You can either sleep, or play PokemonGo. Since no train is available at this time, we spent the night in one of the family restaurants nearby and went to the market at 240 am. To our surprise, we were visitor number 57 and 58 already, almost missing the cut-off of the first batch.
While at the waiting area, one of the tuna traders, Mr. Kose, entertained us with his stories and experiences. He said that the quality of tuna can be checked by touching the meat. Working for 19 years gave him the confidence in evaluating the tuna. And he stressed out that he never got bored with his job. Even once. Impressive.
The area allotted to the visitors is quite limited though. It is understandable since the auction is a normal business activity especially to tuna traders. This is not a show, what you see is a real Japanese culture. At some point, I wished I was a part of the second batch so that I can have a better spot in taking photos. Flash photography by the way is strictly prohibited as it may disrupt the bidding activities.
We went back to the family restaurant while waiting for the fish market area to open at 10 am. That’s how dedicated we are when it comes to photography. A bit sleepy but we managed to stay awake. To be honest, the market is not that busy anymore at 10 am. Only a few stalls have some fish and tuna. Some of them are friendly, but there are some who shoo the tourists right away. Still I was able to capture the art of slicing tuna.
It’s been a long day especially after you found out that the Tsukiji Market relocation was postponed to a later date. According to some tuna traders, a kilo of good quality tuna may cost up to 40,000 yen (400 USD).
We deserved some fresh sliced tuna. A cheap one will do for our empty stomachs and empty wallets. We might go back again this year. We might.
Photos taken with
lens: 18 – 300 mm VR
Quite a journey - thank you for taking us on it.ReplyDelete
My pleasure JDelete
reading your blog is a rich experience...the haiku's great...ReplyDelete
My pleasure, Sumana.Delete
So interesting...and that haiku was a riot!!ReplyDelete
Poor tuna 😝 Thanks ThotpurgeDelete
Another captivating post totomai - very good to have you back :)ReplyDelete
Thanks Jae, it's been a while :)Delete
Your commitment to photography is admirable. Luv that haikuReplyDelete
Thanks Gillena, just trying to put my camera in use hahaDelete
What an amazing experience, Totomai. I never would have guessed all that went into the tuna trade. Enjoyed your haiku, as well as all photos & words!ReplyDelete
Hi Mary - yeah, it was too quick of a visit though. Maybe we will try to go back there again.Delete
thanks you for the lovely pictures !!ReplyDelete
I actually heard about the fishmarket this morning on the radio.. it seems like the relocation might be put on hold... It must have been amazing watching it, and listening too (maybe)ReplyDelete
Yup, it will be moved to a later date Bjorn. So we still have time to take photos if we have energy to stay up in early morningDelete
I agree, such an amazing treat each time we visit your blog Totomai :DReplyDelete
What an interesting post, Totomai, and fantastic photos, as always.ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing, it was quite interesting to read.ReplyDelete
My pleasure TruedessaDelete
Great shots! delicious words!ReplyDelete
i have heard so much about the market & its auctions, through Nat Geo and others. Fascinating place.ReplyDelete
great photos, as usual. a really visual treat (and i am thinking of sashimi already).
I can eat sashimi all day haha.Delete