The alarm rings at 4:30 in the morning, feels like I only went to bed about 4 hours ago and that’s probably because I did. Bursting out of the hotel doors we are hit by the thick hot humid air of mid-summer in Tokyo city. Why the early start? We have to join the line to get into one of the biggest wholesale fish markets in the world; Tsukiji market. There are limited spots to view the tuna auctions, and it’s first in first served.
We are marshalled down a small lane and in through a side door which opens to the auction floor, where all manner of tuna are on display. Buyers are carefully checking the tuna on offer, each with their own secret method of assessing the meat, by picking at the cuts in the tail of each fish. The auctions are fast, furious and over in seconds with a quick flurry of shouts and hand gestures from the buyers and auctioneer.
Next we are thrust out of the auction room and into the general fish market, with its cobbled floors that have been polished by years of scrubbing and buyers walking their beat. We spot all sorts of strange sea creatures including mussels the size of your head all the while trying to dodge the motorised carts that buzz around making their deliveries.
Don’t forget to stop at one of the little eateries surrounding the main fish market and taste the freshest sushi you will ever have. We have a couple a great tuna recipes coming up on the blog in the next few weeks – so take a trip down to your local fish market and get inspired.