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Tokyo and its Surroundings

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© Tsukiji

Tsukiji is one of the many unusual places in Tokyo, it is where the largest fish market in the world is located. Every day, in a few hours, thousands of tons of fish and shellfish of 450 different species are exchanged here. In the middle of the night, the first trucks from the docks bring their loads of seafood to the gigantic covered market. The goods are weighed, numbered, then transported to the many stalls or to the place of the auction. At 5 am the auction begins; the hundreds of restaurateurs and traders present bid on bluefin tuna, the flagship product of the market. The others will choose fish and seafood from one of the hundreds of suppliers present each morning. In 2009 there were nearly 1000 merchants but after the crisis almost a third of them closed shop.

For the tourist, visiting Tsukiji market is a unique experience. You have to come very early in the morning, between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m., to see the place in all its effervescence. There we witness the incessant ballet of pallet trucks, traders' negotiations, we discover hitherto unknown fish and we can eat fresh fish in one of the many small restaurants. However, always keep in mind that the market is first and foremost a place of work and not a tourist attraction, bring clothes and shoes that are not afraid of water, be careful not to get in the way when taking pictures and avoid touching products on shelves.

To attend the tuna auction, you have to come very early, around 5 a.m., and you can join the other tourists who are waiting in line, camera in hand and green vest on their back, in the corner reserved for them. . If you arrive later you will be able to see the auctions until almost 7 a.m. but from the main door, without being able to stop to take pictures without getting in the way.

Outside there is also another market, intended for individuals this one. In the small streets of the district, there are stalls and small shops devoted to seafood or kitchen utensils such as the very famous Japanese knives. You can also come there only to eat sushi or a bowl of ramen which are very famous in Tsukiji.

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