Japan 2015, Episode 3: Sushi in Tsukiji (featuring “What Did We Learn Today”?)

sushi chefs tsukiji

Today, I give a little toast to my first major travel mistake of the trip. It had to happen sometime, and hey – it was more of a “poor planning” thing than anything.

Logistically, I should have just stayed in Tokyo a couple more days. As my next journey is taking me to Naoshima Island, I originally thought it would be better to do Kyoto for a couple days beforehand since it’s closer than Tokyo. What I’m really doing, though, is teasing myself with a very limited amount of time in Kyoto when I have to leave fairly early tomorrow. What’s more is that I have to change hotels today in Kyoto, which involves carrying my gigantic piece of luggage to wherever the nearest taxi is!

Lesson learned: Really map out your journey once you start making dead-set decisions on where you want to go. Plan enough time to see things and don’t over- or underestimate the amount of time needed to travel or see something.

Given my time constraints this morning (I have a lot of Kyoto to see!), I will give you a brief glimpse of the awesome experience I had at Tsukiji Fish Market before heading out. Tomorrow will bring as many Kyoto-ings as possible, I promise!

It may have been the most touristy thing I’ve done so far, but no trip to Tokyo is complete without a trip to Tsukiji market. Plus, with my robust affinity for indulging myself with food cannot be overlooked. This was, naturally, the most ideal pre-departure task for me to take.
The Tsukiji fish market is heavy in the action in the early mornings when the famous “tuna auction” is held. To attend this as a lowly bystander, you need to wake up around 3:30 and hustle to the intake where you’ll (hopefully) receive a “ticket”, or sexy green vest to wear. Only 120 people are let in per day and you had better believe that there are well over that amount wanting to see this. Many of us are aware that I’m the opposite of a morning person, so I was not too keen to do this today. That said, I would absolutely give this a shot in the future. But you’ll have to wake me up and medicate me with caffeine immediately.
Now, the outer part of the market is packed with several restaurants serving some of the greatest food you will eat in your entire life. However, they are all tiny and ALL have lines wrapping around and merging into each other. The two most popular sushi restaurants are Sushi Dai and Sushi Daiwa, both of which have lines wrapping around the area where the market is held. Supposedly, Sushi Dai is the best sushi in the entire market, so waiting times here average about 3 hours long. However, a few people are of the opinion that the quality is stellar at all of the restaurants there. That said, I opted for a restaurant that I could not for the life of me find out the name of, where I *only* had to wait 40 minutes – and had the best-tasting sushi of my life.
Directions to Tsukiji Fish Market: Get off at the Tsukiji-shijo station on the Oedo line (Toei).
See below for pics after the jump. And see you tomorrow for Episode 4 on my brief time in Kyoto!
-H
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3 thoughts on “Japan 2015, Episode 3: Sushi in Tsukiji (featuring “What Did We Learn Today”?)”

  1. I love that you are in Japan! Super jealous too. The name of the restaurant in the top picture with the phone number says Sushi Maru. Maru means circle in Japanese. I’m not sure if that was the sushi place you ate at. Keep writing. Living vicariously through you. XO

    Diane

    PS Please eat some delicious mochi with sweet bean paste in the middle for me!! YUM!

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