Sunday, April 29, 2012

Outer Markets of Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo - 3/24/12

The blocks surrounding the renowned fish market are a cornucopia of interesting shops and restaurants, all along very narrow streets. It's a fascinating place to walk and shop.

But it's very crowded, and I was disconcerted by people bumping into me with no regard and no mumbled reciprocal 'pardon me', 'excuse me', in Japanese, English, or any other language. Someone told me later on to stop excusing myself because no Asians say it or expect it. There's just too many people and they'd be saying it non-stop. Lesson learned.
Most of all, I loved the small restaurants tucked into alleys and doorways. No national chains here, my food-loving friends.
So if you go to Tokyo, be sure to take a day to stroll this area. The sights, sounds, and smells will amaze you. And don't worry about saying 'excuse me' when you bump into someone. 
Three minute video of the Tsukiji Fish Market and the Outer Markets

Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo - 3/24/12

This is the largest, wholesale seafood market in the world, and it's here in central Tokyo. The auction runs on select days starting around 5:30am and ending by 7:00am.  The seafood is then shipped to its respective markets or moved to the retail booths that you see here, still inside the main building.
This kind man (below), with his tuna, let me take his picture and kept showing me something very small, and alive, in a small jar. I have no idea what it was.
Texting and fishheads, and smoking :-)
We were here early afternoon having walked down from our hotel after our flight, still trying to figure out what day it was. Clean-up was in progress and if you weren't careful, you might be mowed down by people or vehicles.
 Just a bit of styrofoam :-(
It's a fascinating place but not for the squeamish. I enjoyed the outer, surrounding markets more and that's coming up next.
Three minute video of the fish market and the outer markets

Detroit to Tokyo, 3/22/12

The first leg of the journey - getting through the airport to the plane.
Always good to see pilots and even better, seeing the plane at the gate.
Flying in the bubble of the 747 was a bonus. There were 24 seats and three stewards. Champagne was served before take-off and a Japanese meal was served early in the flight. (A western selection was also available for those not ready to jump into Asian dining.)
(Shrimp and marinated fish with kelp roll, marinated spinach with tofu paste, smoked salmon with peanuts and asparagus.)

Then it was movie time, which, after sleep, is the best way to spend 13 hours on a plane. The Big Year, 30 Minutes or Less, Tower Heist, and Crazy Stupid Love helped pass the time, and no snakes or other event marred the flight. Next up - Tokyo, Day 1.