Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tsukiji Market, Tokyo

With Dr. Frank Muller during our trip to Tokyo and Kyoto in Feb 2006.

These shots taken when they still allowed visitors into the chilled tuna place. I understand these days, they do not allow tourists into the chilled tuna section. And only a limited number are allowed each morning into a small staged area to view the frozen tuna section to see the frozen tuna auction.

To catch the action, you need to get there early. The auction starts at about 5:30am, and by 6pm its all over. However, there are many sushi-ya around the market serving great, inexpensive sushi and sashimi for breakfast. Tasting chilled tuna (or other sashimi) which has never been frozen is a treat not to be missed. The fish is so fresh, so sweet, so tasty.

A view inside the chilled tuna section. Gotta be careful...mobile trucks, which look like forklifts on oil drums are running around...and can knock one over...



Frozen tuna



Huge tuna...I think this is blue eye tuna...see the marbled otoro on the cut side of the tuna in the foreground...oishi!



Just the body...inside view. You can see the carcass, and skeleton...looks more like a pig or cow than a fish...



I managed to catch the auction scene...I am sure the same chap is still there...the auctioneer just goes off speaking loudly and very fast...and in a moment, the deal is done. And the new owner of a nice piece of tuna carts his buy off to his store somewhere in the huge market complex.

After successful auction, each stall holder takes his buy back to his stall. Here is one cutting up the tuna...see the way he cuts the fillets are by a samurai sword.



And after the large fillets are taken off, a helper takes a spoon, and scrapes the parts next to the fish's ribs...this is very tasty, being closest to the bone...and served in sushi.



A worthy trip, even if I had to wake up at 5am in winter.

Photonote: All shots taken with EOS 300D, and 17-40L. No flash was allowed inside the market. Shot in large jpeg, color balance was a little tricky, but done in Photoshop using Levels middle eyedropper.
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