Pictures from Japan, Tokyo Day 3

After going to be at 12:30AM, we woke at 4AM and took a taxi to the fish market (notice the white gloves worn by the driver... taxis here are immaculate).  We wanted to go to the Tsujiko Fish Market, a number one must see in most travel books.  It was definitely worth it.  The activity and bustle is at a fever pitch.  Tokyo is a city full of fish eaters, and this place is where the fisherman sell their catch.  If it's sushi, it came from this place.  As the sign says, you need to be careful or you'll get run over, literally.  We were dodging little motorized carts that popped out of anywhere, basically a wagon with a motor in a barrel that moves very fast.  Despite the shear weight of fish, the place did not smell at all.  We arrived just as the big tuna auction began.  After a minute of ringing a bell and a small ritual where the auction staff sang a song, the action began.  Frozen solid torpedo-shaped tuna-cicles that weigh 100 to 250 pounds were sold to the highest bidder so quickly that you wonder if anybody had time to bid.  (Yes, that fresh tuna sushi you had at the sushi bar was indeed frozen at one time.)  After the auction, we discovered a pile of Styrofoam the size of a house; they do recycle it, by the way...

Warning, before proceeding.  There is a lot of fish and some of the pictures are a bit gruesome.  I've done my best, in National Geographic style, to capture energy and the atmosphere of the fish market at dawn.  I think I've done that.

After the market, we took the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Osaka.  There's a picture that tries to show how fast it goes, but 300 kph is pretty hard to show.   Suffice it to say, if you see it crossing an over pass it sounds like muffled thunder, and if you rub your eyes for a couple seconds, it is gone like the wind.

All pictures (c) 2007 by Robert S. Blum