Raw fish

11 Jun

I was introduced to sushi at quite a young age by my Japan-loving father.  In 1970’s London it was something of a novelty.  I wasn’t sure at first, but at some point in my teenage years, grew to love it.  When I learnt about Tsukiji Market during my research for our trip to Japan 10 years ago, I knew we had to visit.

To describe Tsukiji as a temple to raw fish, would be understating it’s size and significance.  It is like a small city with roads, vehicles, traffic police, an auction house, restaurants, shops selling all manner of fish accoutrements and of course stall after stall after stall of raw fish.  Whole fish bought at the 5am auction are processed by the many small outfits, like the one pictured, before being sent to restaurants around the world.

It’s an atmospheric place to visit, even if you have to get up before the crack of dawn.  Everyone scurries purposefully around you, hurrying on their fishy business.  The bare lightbulbs and dark corners, huddles of men doing deals worth hundreds of thousands of yen, boxes heaped high with octopus and sea urchins, trolleys of valuable frozen tuna pulled by harried porters.   And it doesn’t smell of fish.  We shall be going back.

This post was written for Photo Friday at Delicious Baby.  For more travel pics, head on over.

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18 Responses to “Raw fish”

  1. JulieB 11/06/2010 at 11:57 am #

    Mmm, I love sushi – has to be one of my favourites, and something I will always choose if I get the chance. The market sounds like a really interesting place to visit.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 12/06/2010 at 2:49 pm #

      It really is, and it has probably the best sushi restaurants in the world. We went for breakfast.

  2. shar13 11/06/2010 at 12:01 pm #

    I’ve just come back from shopping in Milton Keynes where two girls dressed in Japanese outfits were handing out vouchers for ‘Yo Sushi!’ which is opening soon. I imagine the fish market you describe is a million miles away from that! It also goes to prove that what Rick Stein says is true, that really fresh fish doesn’t smell!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 11/06/2010 at 5:43 pm #

      I like yo sushi too, it’s not quite the same, but it’s all good!

  3. Vegemitevix 11/06/2010 at 12:45 pm #

    Absolutely adore sashimi. Think I was ten (1979) when I had my first taste. My Dad was one of the first Kiwi businessmen to do a lot of work in Japan so he was keen for us to try it. I was so surprised it didn’t taste ‘fishy’ just so beautifully delicate. Ohhh. Really want some now. x

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 11/06/2010 at 5:43 pm #

      I know, me too!

  4. Sophie 11/06/2010 at 2:13 pm #

    Tsukiji Market seems like an interesting place to visit, fishy business and all 🙂

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 11/06/2010 at 5:38 pm #

      It really is, I can’t wait to go back.

  5. Wanderluster 11/06/2010 at 4:20 pm #

    You’re very fortunate to have been exposed to sushi (and I’m assuming the Japanese culture?) at such a young age. What a great thing your dad did for you and it obviously fueled your love of travel!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 11/06/2010 at 5:37 pm #

      It was mostly about the fish although I do remember being told about their trip to Japan a lot. It was pretty unusual in those days.

  6. wandermom 11/06/2010 at 5:14 pm #

    I’m a huge sushi fan. I can’t wait to visit Tsukiji Market when we visit Japan at the end of this year.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 11/06/2010 at 5:36 pm #

      It’s DEFINITELY worth getting up early for. And make sure you have sushi for breakfast!

  7. Jen 11/06/2010 at 9:00 pm #

    I just recently have really started to enjoy sushi. I am not very daring with it but I do make a point to try something new everytime we go!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 12/06/2010 at 2:50 pm #

      I don’t like everything, but I do like most things.

  8. Margo 12/06/2010 at 12:53 am #

    my husband has told me about this. He travels to Japan for business so often that we’ve never made it a point to go on vacation… I may need to work on this. Yes, apparently raw fish may be the linchpin. 🙂

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 12/06/2010 at 2:50 pm #

      You so need to tag along one day! You could sightsee while he works…

  9. MummyT 12/06/2010 at 2:29 am #

    Tsukiji is totally on my bucket list… I’m more sashimi than sushi. Uni. Yum!!!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 12/06/2010 at 2:51 pm #

      You can have sashimi in the many restaurants around the market. My mother loves Uni too.

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