Japan 2012 - Tsukiji Market Part II - the Wholesale Fish Market

A little further in from the Outer Market is the Wholesale Fish Market. This is a huge warehouse structure which is curved in shape. It is completely open plan and filled to the brim with the catch of the day. One thing to take note is at Tsukiji you must give way to the vehicles. If you get in the way, expect to be at the receiving end of some annoyed glares and barks.

There are lots of  small "turret trucks" plying the market making deliveries. These look a bit like large garbage cans with a steering wheel on top, and are driven by tough-looking fish mongers that you don't want to mess with. Another important rule is never touch the products - always ask first. If you remain discreet and stay out of the way you should be fine, and some of the merchants are actually quite friendly.

The freshness and variety of seafood on display here is truly amazing. Chances are if you can't find it here, its probably not on the menu at the good restaurants. The prices also can be shocking - in January 2013 a 222kg bluefin tuna was auctioned off at USD 1.7 million - around USD 7,700 per kg ! But these are usually publicity stunts. The average price for good quality bluefin tuna at the market is between USD 40 - 60 per kilo. By the time it reaches the restaurants, expect to pay around double to triple that amount.


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