Saturday, March 5, 2011

Day 109: Time for part two of our Japanese adventure. These photos are all from Tsukiji fish market which is the biggest wholesale fish market located in central Tokyo. It handles over 2,000 tons of fish a day and is the center of about $5.5 billion dollars of fish trade each year. We were told to go early in the morning to catch all the action and although we missed the 5 a.m. tuna auction, there was still plenty to see once we arrived. Now, it wasn't quite as easy to get there as the Lonely Planet made it seem, but after dodging some aggressive cart loaders, scooters and fish trucks we made it to entrance of the whole sale market.

Once inside we were amazed with the sheer amount of activity happening all around us, colourful fisherman characters quickly going about their business almost oblivious to our presence.
The photo opportunities were everywhere, the trickiest part though was not getting in peoples way. We had to be vigilant not to get in the way of deliveries, pick ups, customers and local fishermen doing their thing.

As we snapped away we got the vague sense that tourists were not looked on too highly by the grizzled fishermen and that we were somewhat of a nuisance. We tried our friendly foreigner approach to gain their acceptance but the fishermen seemed relatively unmoved by our efforts.

However, once we bought some sashimi from one of the stalls, it seemed to change the fishermen's perception of us from tourists to customers. It was also nearing the end of their work day and it showed on their faces...

This younger fisherman was REALLY happy to get off work...

As we were leaving, one of the Japanese fisherman (pictured below) yelled out "Where are you from?" and when we told him Canada, he proceeded to speak to us in French. We must have looked surprised and he quickly noticed that we had no idea what he was saying. He said this was the first time he was able to teach French to Canadians which gave him a good laugh.

We figured it was a good time to leave when we saw them discarding large fish heads and closing up their stalls for the day.

We still have so many photos we want to share from our time in Japan that we'll be doing another post soon. We hope everyone is doing great back home, and we miss you all very much.

With love from South Korea,
Brandon & Shayna xo