Tsukiji Market – Tokyo, Japan.
Posted on June 30, 2013 by DL
The Tsukiji Market (築地市場, Tsukiji Shijō) is located in central Tokyo and for many years now it has acted as the epicentre of the Japanese Seafood and fresh food scene. However, come 2016. The market will move to it’s new site in Toyosu. So for those of you who have Tsukiji market written on their to do list, go now before it’s too late.
The market peaks between 5:30 and 8:00 a.m., and the activity declines significantly afterward. Many shops start to close around 11:00 a.m., and the market closes for cleaning around 1:00 p.m. If you can brave the cold and wake up during the ungodly hours in the morning, you should visit the market at 5 am and watch the proceedings from a designated area. Be careful though, there’s a 140 tourist quota per day and this quote fills up insanely quick during peak travel seasons.
For those of you who really can’t be stuffed waking up that early, but would like to gobble down sashimi for breakfast then do what we did and rock up at 8am and join the long queues for the handful of Sushi restaurants that resides into Tsukiji market.
We decided to join the queue for Sushi Daiwa, a well respected and well loved by both tourist and locals alike. The lines for Sushi Daiwa can at time wrap around the block, making customers wait for over 1 hour. But for those wishing to taste sashimi in it’s purest and freshest form, there is no other option besides being out in sea and catching their own salmon.
Uni - Sea Urchin. Usually not a fan of sea urchin as it’s usually served well beyond it’s fresh state, but this baby was probably in the sea a few hours ago, not knowing it would be swimming in my belly a few hours later. Perfection.
Ika - Squid nigiri, this is often said to be a very hard nigiri to form, given the stiffness of the squid compared to other fishes. When the squid is extra fresh, it is translucent. The rice and wasabi are visible underneath the flesh of the squid sushi. This freshness is rare, as the translucency only last a few hours.
Ikura (salmon roe) and maguro (tuna) maki – I’ve never had fresh salmon roe and tuna such as this. The umami flavour is so pungent, it felt like I was slapped in the face by the tuna.
Now this was a little special, Prawn head nigiri. What were they thinking. But whatever it was, it was bloody good. I’m usually the guy who discards the head when eating prawns, but this baby was so crispy and delicious, I would down a dozen if cholesterol wasn’t a problem.
Tai – Snapper nigiri
Toro – Fatty Tuna – I don’t know what to say, this piece of fatty tuna made me literally melt, it was so good, I wish I could freeze time and just live this moment. The Tuna was so fresh and the marble on it was super smooth, it made digestion a breeze.
For the seafood lovers out there, visiting Tsukiji market is a no brainer, and with it’s closure in 2015/16, now is the time to go and get your face smothered in awesomeness.
Don’t forget when visiting the Tsukiji market, you are stepping into a place where business transaction are made and we’re in their way. So don’t be rude and just watch from a safe distance.
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