Crashing Japan
Tsukiji Fish Market

by Bamboo Dong, Sep 21st 2007

For early risers (or those who just got done partying from the night before), there's one destination that should be checked out while you're in Tokyo—Tsukiji. Located a few blocks from the Tsukijishijo station on the Oedo Line, the action starts around 3AM, when all the fishermen bring in the catches of the day. By the time 6 rolls around, everything's already displayed in stalls, ready for restauranteurs to select the finest and freshest ingredients. If it's any indication just how much fish is in this place, the ever-growing mountain of Styrofoam containers outside is jaw-dropping.

There are really no words to describe the enormity of this place. For as far as the eye can see in multiple directions, there are just stalls upon stalls upon stalls upon stalls of everything that has ever lived in an ocean. Be careful, though—in between all of the commotion are these fast-moving carts whose drivers only care about getting their fish delivered on time. Get in the way and you're liable to be run over.

One thing that's definitely worth checking out are the tuna auctions. Visitors aren't allowed to walk through the action anymore, but there's a small area roped off along the side for people to stand and take pictures. Giant tunas are arranged on the ground, and each one is auctioned off quickly and efficiently.

Everything stops in the early afternoon. Once people pack up and leave, the grounds are watered down with hoses, ready for the next day. If you're planning on visiting Tokyo, definitely try to wake up early and check out the fish market—it's something that has to be seen to be believed.

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