Monday, 20 December 2010

Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo - the eighth wonder of the world

Welcome to Tsukiji, the world's greatest fish market. Although market is probably the wrong word - this place is nothing short of a wonder (next to Tsukiji, Machu Picchu is a mound of bricks on a hill, etc). 

The 57 acre site is a city of seafood, where over 2,000 tonnes of the stuff is displayed and shifted each day - that's over 700,000 tonnes a year across more than 1,500 stalls. Over 60,000 people call Tsukiji their place of work, and very few of them can ever claim to have a dull day. 

That's because Tsukiji is an explosion of vivid colour, clattering sound and heady ocean scents that grabs all of your senses at once, shakes them up in a giant conch shell, tips them into a polystyrene box full of ice and sells them to a sushi chef. 

Pull on some shoes that you no longer love, and come wade through the fish guts, as we tour the myriad bonkers sights of Tsukiji.

Baby squid taking a nice bath with some ice cubes and some black ink.

Eels do it in blood-sullied water.

 Huge octopi brazenly showing off their tentacles.

More cephalopods than you can shake a squid at.

When the going gets weird, the 'geoduck' turns pro.

The Tsukiji barbershop singing troupe turns up for morning practice. 

'Salmon in a box' doesn't quite do this pic justice, does it?

"I'm sure I left a white polystyrene box around here somewhere."

Pfffft...your guess is as good as mine.

"Hey, I can see your brain from here."

For the life of them, Toshiro and Dave couldn't work out where the fishy smell was coming from.

There's nothing better than a bucket of eels, is there?

"One day I'm gonna get me an R2D2 unit like Haruki's."

Three men, an ancient looking cart, and a ready-made photo opportunity.

"Mom, which knife should I use to disembowel the nosey Englishman?"

Don't you just hate it when a prawn burrows into your neck?

"Aren't you glad you're not us?"

If you don't want to know what they did with this blood-soaked chopping board, razor-sharp knife and bit of bent coat hanger, don't look below.

It's a cruel world ain't it?