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Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market

We’re still in Japan, but we have a little free time in our hotel room tonight, so I’m trying to update the blog with some of our culinary experiences here in Japan.  Going to the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo was one of the most memorable things we’ve done so far – not only is the market fascinating to walk around in, but we also had some of the best sushi I’ve ever had.

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We got to the Tsukiji Fish Market at around 9 in the morning – rather late.  Many of the deliveries were starting to wind down, and some stalls were already beginning to pack up.  So if you want to catch all of the action, get there early in the morning.  There is supposed to be a tuna auction at 5am, which is really interesting, but unfortunately we heard that it is now closed to the public.

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Nevertheless, we were still able to witness lots of interesting scenes and tons of unique sea creatures – sea urchins, all sizes and colors of crabs, huge tunas, and more.

Tsukiji Fish Market

This guy is filleting fresh eels with astonishing ease.  Everyone had these deadly looking knives which they wielded with amazing skill.

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Afterwards, we went to one of the numerous sushi restaurants that fringe Tsukiji Fish Market itself.  This is where you can get the freshest and best sushi in Tokyo at low low prices.

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Our bowls of chirashi sushi cost only about $15 USD each, and the quality was such that we would have easily spent three times that much on similar-quality sushi elsewhere.

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My bowl was a mixture of firm, muscular dark red tuna and lighter-colored, more buttery tuna.  I hadn’t been a big fan of tuna sushi before, as the kind we get in the Western world is typically a little spongy and pre-frozen.  I had never experienced real tuna sushi before having it at the Tsukiji fish market.  Fresh, springy, and completely, completely delicious.

There is also a large food market surrounding the fish market where you can get all sorts of delicious high-quality food and snacks, from shaved katsuobushi (shaved dried tuna flakes, also known as bonito), pickled vegetables, murderous-looking knives, deep-fried fish bones (a popular bar snack), and more.

So next time you’re in Tokyo, make sure you make time for a trip to Tsukiji fish market.  It’s just a short walk from the Tsukiji subway station and it is well worth getting up early for.  I would say that the fish market, plus the extensive food market and sushi restaurants surrounding it, make the Tsukiji Fish Market one of the best food experiences in Tokyo.

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