We started off morning to the Tsukiji Fish Market, one of the biggest seafood markets in the world. It is reported that some 450 kinds of fish are received and that this figure is unparalleled in the world. The market handles approximately 2,888 tons of marine products with a sale of about 2.8 billion yen a day. Opening dates vary, one has to check with the market for the dates.
The market has three parts, an inner market that includes the famous tuna auction hall and wholesale area that and outer market that is adjacent to the inner market. The auction hall is strictly regulated to only 120 tourists a day. And it opens at 5am. The wholesale area is a site with over 200 stalls where sellers cut, prepare and pack the fishes for buyers. The public opens from 9am ~ 1pm to anyone including tourists. The outer market includes retail shops and restaurants that cater the public. It opens later.
We visited the wholesale area and outer market that probably offer a whole lot more to see. The wholesale area is a busy maze of stalls where buyers and sellers hurry along the narrow lanes with their fish in their mobile carts and trucks to various stalls. We had to pay attention to every step we make as we walk pass and across the lanes to the stalls while looking and photographing the market with seafood.
The outer market was rather interesting. It sells other things besides fish. You can find all sorts of foods, spices, pickles and seaweeds that go with fish and also utensils for cutting fish and other seafood, and various pots and pans for cooking fish. The Namiyoke Inari Shrine is located near the Tsukiji fish market. It was built on the water’s edge when the area was created from landfill after a great fire. The name of the shrine literally means “protection from waves.” The shrine became an unofficial guardian shrine for the marketplace and its traders. Many fishers, wholesalers, retailers and customers stop at the shrine before entering the market. There were also many sushi restaurants in the area. These sushi restaurants serve the freshest fish and seafood you can find in Tokyo. We stopped by a popular sushi restaurant that was located right in the middle of the market, where ate some sushi. Some of us loved sushi and there were a few of us that couldn’t really take it raw but at least we tried tasting them. We ordered other cooked foods for those who couldn’t take sushi.
After we filled out stomach with tasty fish and other foods, we took the subway to the Skytree, Tokyo’s newest television and radio broadcast site that opened 2010. It stands 634.0 meters (2,080 feet) and is the tallest tower displacing the Canton Tower in Guangdong, China and the second tallest structure in the world after Burj Kahalifa that now stands 829.8 m (2,722 ft). There are observatories that look out to the grand city, Tokyo. We saw rivers, many high rise buildings, homes, streets and ant-sized people. There’s a glass flooring on the observatories that give visitors a direct downward view of the streets below. It’s a bit of a hair-rise looking down the glass floor where you see at your feet the little cars passing under.
After Skytree and some green tea ice-cream, we were supposed to go to Asakusa but because of a Halloween party by Deaf Japanese and Halloween parade open to the public in Shibuya that night, we agreed to visit Asakusa the next day. We returned back to our hotel in Shinagawa. Some of us grabbed a nap and others took a shower before dressing up in our Halloween costume as a Japanese sports fan, wearing a Japanese headband and a blue and white scarf that says “Go For Japan”. We were instead of rooting a sporting event, were rooting for the Japanese Halloween night. Unbelievably our costume did get a lot of attention at the Halloween Party and in the parade. We celebrated the Halloween night with what seems like the whole world was in Shibuya. It was very crowded and we were invited for many photos sessions with other scary and beautiful costumes. We had a memorial Halloween night.