Tsukiji – The Morning MarketJul 15th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Events
There is more to Tsukiji in the morning that just the tuna auction. In fact a stroll through the streets outside the market can be as invigorating experience as the market itself. This is one early morning jaunt that I would recommend – while it is still a place of business, consumers are welcome to make purchases and pursue some of the freshest fish & seafood in Tokyo without hampering the work flow within the gates of the neighboring market.
The big blue tuna billboard (pictured on the right) is an iconic sign marking the entrance to the bustling narrow alleyways that crisscross an area that is approximately three square blocks. It’s still a hectic place with many carts, forklift and people scurrying about so you need still need to keep your wits about you when you visit.
The Tsukiji morning market sells more than just fish – fresh fruit, vegetables, tsukemono (pickled vegetables), dried fish, knives, tea and a variety of cooking utensils and implements cab be found in the market area. Below are soybeans (edamame) and wasabi root.
But the fish is and shell fish is definitely the star of the show at the market with a variety that is quite amazing.
Some ika (squid) and sea urchin (uni)…
Fish selling for Y100 per piece and some more shellfish…
The Tsukiji morning market is a feast for the eyes and your other senses. If you are in the area and up early it is worth the effort to make the trip.
Many vendors offer samples of their product (some for free) so if you are up for bran pickled vegetables, a little unagi (freshwater eel), ramen, tempura or sushi for breakfast then you are in for a treat!
Keep in mind that much of the area is shuttered by lunch time. Like the Tsukiji Wholesale Market itself if you have limited mobility (use a cane, wheelchair or walker) or are with small children you may find the experience frustrating and even a bit frightening due to the narrow passageways and hectic crowds.
Click on the images below to navigate a slide show of the images that I took during my early morning Tsukiji adventure.
Image Credit: Personal Collection