Tsujiki Fish Market | Japan | Living in Mexico

Tsujiki Fish Market

Our tour group got to the Tsujiki Fish Market around 9 AM, which is about as early as you can get a tour group to gather anywhere, and while the fish auction and main wholesaling action was over, there was still plenty to see. As we approached the market, the first thing we noticed was these cute little three-wheeled trucks that zip all over the place. The second thing we saw was our fellow tourists' butts as we scrambled out of the way of the zippy little trucks. They don't stop for anybody.

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The truck design is clever, but of course all Japanese design is clever—by law, I think. The engine and transmission are housed in the ventilated metal cylinder in the front, the single drive wheel is attached to the bottom of the cylinder and the steering wheel is attached to the top. To steer, you pull on the wheel and the whole cylinder rotates.

Most trucks carried styrofoam boxes, but some carried sections of tuna that had been held in liquid nitrogen, frost-covered and smoking.

Inside a cavernous building, we found all kinds of fish being sold both wholesale and retail. Here's a lovely fish head with a price sticker on it: About $18 per pound. That must be the price for the fish that once was attached to the head. While I had been warned that Japanese breakfasts consisted of fish heads and rice (they don't, really), I'm certain that not even Okanawans would eat them at that price.

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This is a Shinto shrine that serves the Tsujiki Market. How do we know it's a Shinto shrine? It doesn't say "Shinto" on it. At least not in English. So we have to look deeper.

Look at the tapered rice straw ropes. Look at the white paper folded into lightning shapes. That's how we know it's a Shinto shrine.

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For more pictures of the market, and of fish, check out this flickr photoset.
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