Japan Highlights: Tsukiji Fish Market

Now that I’m back, and recovered from jet lag (and the flu I picked up on the way home), I figured I’d do a few blog posts on the highlights from the trip my husband and I recently took (to Japan). First up is the Tsukiji fish market, a bustling market where it is possible to buy almost anything that lives in the sea in the early hours of the morning. Well, most mornings. We thought that it would be a great idea to visit the market the first day in Tokyo, seeing as how we’d likely be awake anyway because of the time difference. Which we were. Sadly, the market was closed. I think I may have heard somewhere that the market is sometimes closed on Wednesdays, or it may have been a holiday, I’m not sure. But there were no fish to be seen. There were a couple of sushi restaurants open, trying to lure in unsuspecting tourists to eat the previous day’s fish, but we declined and went off to do other things. When we returned the next day, the market was in full swing, with everything from giant tuna to unidentifiable shellfish to mountains of octopus:

Octopi

It’s a bit tricky taking photos in the market (though I took a fair number anyway, which are up on my flickr account), due to a combination of low light and the market being quite busy. If you didn’t pay attention, little motorized trucks hauling tuna would plow you down. Still, I managed a few good shots, and even if I hadn’t, it was well worth waking up early a second morning. After we’d walked around the market a bit, we headed to a small sushi restaurant near the edge of the market and had chirashi sushi:

Chirashi Sushi

Basically, chirashi sushi is lots of seafood piled on top of a bowl of sushi rice. This particular combination had salmon roe, sea urchin roe, shrimp, three kinds of fish, squillo (not sure quite what that is, but it was tasty) and tamago (sweet egg omelet). It was quite tasty, although I have to admit that while I enjoyed it, I would probably have liked it better for lunch than for breakfast.

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