What Your Tuna Goes Through

Fish Market Sign

Tsujiki Fish Market in Tokyo opens early. This is the place to come if you want to see all kinds of sea dwelling creatures before they end up on your plate as sashimi at the end of the day.

5:30 am comes awfully early when you’re trying to get in the mood to spend time wandering amongst fish carcesses, slimey floors and Japanese fisherman. My stomach was instantly ill at ease from the odor of oil and fish in the air. It continued to protest as I worked my way through the slime covered floors littered with discarded fish parts and organs.

Transporting Tuna

Frozen tuna are unloaded from the boats and transported by cart to giant warehouses to be auctioned off.

Nevertheless, it’s fascinating and now I understand why the guidebooks claim that Tsukjiki Fish Market shouldn’t be missed. Visitors are allowed to wander around the wholesalers’ stalls, which sell directly to restaurants, stores and other buyers. It’s best to get there before 8am to see the giant tuna as they are auctioned off.

Tuna Auction

Tuna auction.

I couldn’t help feeling bad for these giant fish, and despite seeing where my tuna comes from, it has’t persuaded me to stop enjoying sushi.. Although there were several restaurants in the area offering the freshest sashimi of the day, I make it a rule not to eat raw fish before lunch. 8am is way to early to be eating raw fish on an empty stomach!

Fresh Tuna

Tuna Sashimi

The freshest tuna sashimi of the day.

Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo, Japan

5-2 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku

Hibiya line to Tsukiji Station Exit 1

Fresh Octopus

On Ice

Post Author: Carrie Kellenberger

I'm a chronically ill Canadian expat who has been living abroad in Asia since 2003. I moved from China to Taiwan in 2006. My husband and I have owned our own business in Taiwan since 2012. In addition to my own work, I've been writing professionally about Asia, travel and health advocacy since 2007, providing regular content to several publishing companies and travel publications in Asia and North America. Follow Carrie on on Twitter @globetrotteri or on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/carriekellenberger/.

8 thoughts on “What Your Tuna Goes Through

    Juan Ariel Comia

    (October 19, 2007 - 9:28 pm)

    Our ad agency handles the Philippines’ bigggest tuna brand – we have been handling it for years! Still your post and pics are still something new for me – didn’t realize how good raw tuna looked in a crate full of ice… how fresh! 🙂

    cfimages

    (October 21, 2007 - 8:54 am)

    Nice post. That’s a place I want to go to someday. There’s a similar type fish market in Taiwan, although smaller. It’s in Donggang which is just south of Kaohsiung. Worth checking out if you’re in the area.

    Dale

    (October 29, 2007 - 12:17 am)

    Looks delicious.

    Sunset On Tokyo Bay « My Several Worlds

    (October 29, 2007 - 11:14 pm)

    […] We managed to time our arrival in Roppongi Hills perfectly.  We boarded the train from Narita airport and switched to the subway once we got into Tokyo.  We had just arrived at the Grand Hyatt Roppongi when Christian and Beka showed up.  We rushed home to drop our things off and then headed out for a terrific meal, some light entertainment and a stroll around Roppongi Hills before heading home.  We had to get an early jump on the next day as Christian had arranged to take us to the Tsujiki Fish Market. […]

    Osaka Castle « The Daily Bubble Tea

    (November 29, 2007 - 12:04 am)

    […] Carrie of My Several Worlds [another Taiwan blogger] has also recently been posting pictures from her recent trip to Japan. Definitely check out her fish market post! […]

    Robyn

    (May 16, 2008 - 10:38 pm)

    These pix bring back memories. What an experience, even if I had to get up at 1:30 AM to get there in time. Awesome pix!

    Carrie

    (May 17, 2008 - 1:17 pm)

    Juan,

    It does look good, doesn’t it? Every time I look at these photos, I want to head straight to Sushi Express.

    Carrie

    (May 17, 2008 - 1:24 pm)

    Robyn,

    I’m glad you enjoyed them. Thanks for stopping by!

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