Our first visit was to the biggest seafood market in the world – Tsukiji Market, “Tsukiji Shijō”. From Tokyo Station, we caught the Yamanote Line to Shimbashi Station in Ginza District. We were dwarfed and enclosed by towering shinny buildings. Being a Sunday, the streets were quiet. From here, it was a short walk, based on the map we had. However, too many junctions and roads made it difficult to follow. Fortunately a local man was going in the same direction. It was around 9am and was already frantic as small motor vehicles darted and swerved as they carted styro foam boxes of seafood. Inside the covered building, all kinds of seafood were on display. Some of which we had no idea at all.
“…as we entered the warehouse, an overpowering smell of the ocean hit me like a brick wall. The scale of this place was absolutely huge” – Navindd
Parts of this wholesale area are off limits before 9am. The popular tuna auctions take place very early in the morning and visitor numbers are limited. It was busy and the wholesalers were focused on their business. The pathways are narrow. Getting out of the wholesalers way is wise. Locals also shop here. Seafood here is carted and distributed daily around the country.
“Distributors drove small forklift- like machines, delivering goods for the thousands of shops there. I sometimes wondered how they found their way along this labyrinth of shops.” – Navindd