|Stopped at a Lawson to try the Lawson Red Chicken. Strangely enough, I thought Lawsons were more common, but 7-11 seemed to be everywhere I went instead.|
|This is their famous spicy red chicken nuggets. They were fairly tasty, but I wanted to try these as I heard that Bourdain liked them.|
I should have known better and actually checked my route before I went to the market as I kind of winged it. I took the subway out to Tsukiji Station, then realized that Tsukiji Station is not near the actual market. It was a 10 or 15 minute walk through some residential and commercial neighbourhoods to get to the market. An iPhone with GPS and an offline map program are just great for this kind of situation. I actually saw some interesting things on the way over and it was a nice stroll through these neighbourhoods.
|A street on the way to Tsukiji|
|I like the decor outside this bar.|
|I never saw these Godzilla ad campaigns for Kirin Fire coffee, then I found this old faded sticker on the side of a vending machine. The weathering made this even cooler to see.|
|Vending machines outside a seafood distributor.|
|A small street with seafood distributors on both sides. You can tell from all the white styrofoam boxes and the blue propane powered cart.|
I came in from the northeast and entered through the road entrance by Namiyoke Inari Shrine, where the fishmongers and workers here come to pray and leave offerings for luck and prosperity. It is an Inari shrine that was built on the water's edge in the 1600s. The name of the shrine means "protection from waves." I had an interest in this shrine as it also has an altar to the tamago (egg). I also like inari shrines as they have fox dieties, who also like inari sushi! The tamago altar was something interesting at the shrine as tamago sushi is also a big item on any sushi menu! Making proper tamago omelet is actually a standard skill to be mastered for any sushi chef. When I was waiting to take pictures of the shrine I had the strong odor of smoked bonito shavings waft by and it turned out a shop behind me sold this staple of Japanese food.
|Front of Namiyoke Inari Shrine|
|Inside the shrine grounds and the main temple.|
|Lion and altars.|
|Inari Altar. Foxes with red bibs and offerings.|
|Loading docks outside the main building.|
|Main Street inside the main building.|
Some shops are large, some shops are small and in various states of upkeep and glitz. Every shop pretty much has a series of low tables around it with tub after tub (or box) of fish, almost always on ice. The floor is wet as you can imagine and is rough asphalt in some places, but it must get hosed down pretty good at the end of the day as there isn't an overpowering fishy odor (fresh fish helps of course!). The main aisles are broader, but there is often just enough room for a person to walk between stalls on the side aisles. Walking can be slow going as you are often stuck behind another tourist taking pictures or something picking up fish for transport or buying fish.
|Scenes from the market as a comic. Too many faces, so I couldn't publish regular photos.|
|Sea urchins to crabs.|
|Tuna being carved up.|
|Mackerel and more.|
There was no way I was getting up early for the tuna auctions, but I did see one shop cutting up frozen tuna's with a band saw. That was actually something to see! There were so many people around that a security guard came around to move people on. There were tons of fish on sale and plenty of types I had never seen before.
|Frozen tuna to be cut up.|
|Cutting frozen tuna.|
|Lineups of people for one of the many sushi shops.|
5-2-1, Building 1
Chuo-ku, Tsukiji Market, Tokyo
Tel: 03 3541 9517
|The menu. I had the 3500 yen set.|
|More yummy sushi|
|Rolls to end off the meal.|
|A large seafood distributor.|
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