Saturday, May 30, 2015

Tsukiji Fish Market- Tokyo

3am wake up call!
Yeah, right.
I hate to say it, but we passed on the chance of winning one of 120 spots to view the fish auctions at the Tokyo Tsukiji fish market.  The largest fish auction in the world.
Our hotel's concierge said it was really a crap shoot (... so, he DID say it nicer than that) if you'd even win a spot to view the auction and it was a long wait until it started once you scored a spot.  
"Why not go a little later and enjoy some breakfast or lunch?  You'll still have a great time at the market".  Okay dude, you are on!

As you walk down the Harumi Dori street (not far from Ginza and the Tokyo train station), this is how you know you've arrived at Tsukiji market, oh, and the crowds are a dead give away!

It's hard to put into words about this place... but really, maybe Seattle's Pike Place market meets Istanbul Spice market sums it up.  Crazy busy with people, shops and food everywhere!
Every row of shops in the market was jammed packed with people shopping and some tourists too.

We'd skipped breakfast and just headed out after sleeping in that morning.

So naturally, now we were hungry.
Seafood for breakfast?
Why not?

We ate at a couple street vendors between 9:30 and 10:00, so fun, with lots of great selection. 

This place had steamed oysters, fresh oysters chilled on ice, and grilled whole scallops "to go".  For about 300-400 yen, which is about $3, you can have some terrific taste treats.
 In the US, you don't see scallops with the "orange stuff" attached very often, but it is delicious!
 He's is IN for one of those!

Looking pretty fantastic, and so piping hot.  We had to wait a minute or so before eating.

Besides being a fish market, there are fruits, veggies, meat markets, restaurants, shops for every type of cooking item.

A stall of dried beans and next door (shown below) a stall of different types of seaweed.

Fresh fish, beautifully laid out, ready to sell.

Even a kitchen stall store with all sorts of items for cooking.
Hard to see...
but this was a big table of different mollusks- abalone (650) whelks, clams etc.
I have no idea what was in all these exciting little bags...

 Anyone?  What is this?

Same below....  I have no idea what this is.

Finally, we settled for one of the places for an early lunch.  Seriously, this was the best sushi of our lives.  We'd had an expensive fine dining sushi dinner a couple of nights before that was more beautiful and unique, but every bite in this place amazed us.

This was the most expensive plate at 598yen, a little less than $5.

Here's our clue to how much we were spending.   Like lots of conveyer belt sushi plates, they charge by the type of plate.  There is also a tea dispenser at your seat, hot water and instant powdered green tea that was fantastically good.  I'm not the biggest green tea fan, but I loved this stuff.

Grilled sushi, made fresh and finished with a blow torch.  It was the sauces that made each so fantastic with a nice subtle char flavor, leaving the sushi still raw and tender.

Here he is making a couple new plates of the grilled version.  It was so hard to stop eating this.

This place is a Tokyo chain Sushizanmai, that has quite a great reputation and following.  
I am SO glad that we picked the right spot!  I'd recommend stopping at one of their locations when you visit Tokyo.

A morning at Tsukiji Fish Market was so much fun, and while I had wanted to see the auction, I think sleeping in may have been right for us.

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