There is an enormous wholesale fish market named Tsukiji about 3 miles from the T-Cube. Tsukiji is listed on EVERY Tokyo must-see list. I'm pretty sure the Japanese authorities would detain someone at the airport if he/she tried to leave Japan without visiting Tsukiji. If you've been following the Veggies since we landed in Tokyo, you may recall I mentioned Tsukiji during our first week. On that initial visit, we arrived at the market at 10am, took a quick glance around, and found a sushi bar equipped to provide our first straight-out-of-the-ocean breakfast. My friends, this was child's play.
Tsukiji begins each day with a tuna auction at 5am. They let 60 visitors in to view the auction from 5:25-5:50am and another 60 for the 5:50-6:15am viewing. However,
they open their doors at 3:30am and once they hit 120 visitors...they slam those doors shut. As this is widely viewed as a once-in-a-lifetime experience, every foreigner in Tokyo is determined to see the auction. Boz and I, along with our aforementioned visitors, Soup & Anne, arrived at the auction at 3:35 am and were the last people accepted into the 5:25-5:50 viewing group. The 5:50-6:15 group filled up within 15 minutes. So there we were...120 sleepy foreigners, packed into a little warehouse holding room with absolutely no chairs and a minimum hour and 55 minute wait ahead of us.
|I am not actually reading in this pic. I am doing deep-breathing exercises and reminding myself that over the course of humanity, it is *possible* people have endured worse things than a 115 minute wait at|
3:30 am. It's at least possible.
|I brought a funny doughnut along as a treat for B. I have honed the ability to simultaneously be thoughtful (e.g. doughnut) and a pain-in-the-ass (e.g. cross-legged protest of this interminable wait)|
Fortunately, the doors re-opened promptly at 5:25 am and our 60-person group was ushered into the auction viewing area.
|I perked WAY up once we got inside.|
|The auctioneer's bell|
|Basket 0' Scraps|
This whole Tsukiji adventure went down on a Friday morning as Boz took the day off work to spend time with Soup and Anne. We all headed home after the fish auction, napped, and then hit up an Oktoberfest celebration. We had originally planned on spending just an hour at the Oktoberfest, assuming it to be a very touristy, cheesy affair. It turned out to be absolutely the opposite. And now I feel like I need to do a quick post on Oktoberfest-in-Tokyo-in-May...so I'll be back in a few.
|The perimeter of the market is lined with tiny shops serving sushi and sashimi breakfasts.|
All of the men in this picture (right) are drinking Asahi Super Dry (light beer) and eating raw fish at 6am.