Sunday, April 7, 2019

Little Experiences in Tokyo - #1 Going to Tsukiji Market

When you travel, it isn't all about the big ticket sights.  It isn't just about the kabuki theatre, Anime Expo, giant Gundam robot statues, going up the Skytree, or Michelin starred cuisine.  There is that old saying that "planning is half the fun in traveling," as your imagination and hopes are fully involved in the experience.  This post is kicking off a series about the little things that fill in your trip and make it memorable for years to come.

#1 Going to Tsukiji Market
I've previously covered the market in this post A Visit to Tsukiji Fish Market in April 2015.
While the inner market is closed now, having moved to Toyosu, the outer market with shops and restaurants is still open.

Going to and from the market also had its share of interesting things and this post is more around getting there.   In December of 2017 I went to visit the market before it moved and found they had put in more rules around the inner market due to the massive number of visitors.  In general, Tokyo is way busier in any area a tourist would visit than the first time I visited.

I walked over to Tsukiji in the morning after grabbing a quick breakfast from the konbini (convenience store).  Konbini's are fantastic to get breakfast or any quick meal at as you can eat them easily back in your room, at the konbini sometimes, or on a park bench.  The walk from Ginza was interesting as I went by some toll gates and over a freeway that runs through the area.  You almost don't notice it until you are on the bridge over the road.  I then passed through some warehouse areas, a shrine, and then went to the market itself.  Afterwards you walk west out through the outer market and into Ginza.  On a weekend morning it isn't busy at all outside of the market, but now that the inner market is gone, the whole place is probably less busy in general.
Coffee, juice, and a ham sandwich.
Lawson has great chicken nuggets!
Tokyo Expressway entrance that I walked by.
Toll entrance again.  I went over the expressway on a bridge.
A way cool manhole cover showing japan and a surveyor.
Lots of boxes of produce and fish at various distributors as you walk towards the market. 
Delivery truck for a sushi chain restaurant.  They get their fish here.
Some really old working bikes.  They would have big styrofoam coolers clipped onto the back.
Salmon for sale.
Knife store
Dried bonito flakes up top used to make dashi or as a topping, and the rock hard katsuobushi that they are shaved from below with a wood plane.
The Tsukiji Shrine. Nice crisp fall morning when I visited.
The little altar to the tamago or egg inside the shrine.
Main shrine building and prayer altar.
A bunch of old and new scales for weighing fish or anything else.
Area behind a fish distributor showing hand carts, forklifts, and those cool little propane powered carts with the big round steering wheel.
People bike to work in the outer market.
A dish shop.  I like the bright colors and funky little fish painted dishes at the bottom right corner.
This was the original Yoshinoya Beef Bowl restaurant or restaurant #1.  It is supposed to be closing.
Main entrance to the market.
Starbucks and their tasty looking food in Japan.  I stopped here after visiting the market for a coffee and a snack.  I had some sushi from a place I visited the time before earlier, but it wasn't as good this time.
The market is a fun place to visit.  There are some very well known food stalls here to get ramen, beef bowl, sushi, and even tamago omelettes.  Locals still come here so if you have time it is probably worth a couple of hours to poke around and see a bustling marketplace - minus the main fish market.

More travelogue posts here.


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