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...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

15 November 2015

Endless fish

19 October 2015

Today we visited the Tsukiji market, the famous fish market only a few minutes from the very heart of Tokyo. It is unbelievably vast, impossible to imagine just how many tons of fish pass through the huge space every day. Partly outside, partly undercover, wet concrete underfoot, trucks and trolleys whizzing about, and the great wholesale sheds squeaking with all the towers of polystyrene boxes used to hold the seafood. Tourists amble through it, but are outnumbered by the buyers and sellers hurrying about their business and dodging all the gawpers (that means us).


The sheer quantity of fish can’t help but make the visitor think about the marine environment and how much we take from it. Of course, I’ve devoured a whole load of delicious fish here in Japan, including plenty of tuna, so anything I observe is probably terribly hypocritical. The Japanese diet includes an awful lot more seafood than any other place I’ve visited, it would be interesting to find out what they think about the state of their fisheries and whether they are doing anything along the lines of the quotas and bans needed in Atlantic and North Sea waters to save the cod fisheries. For some reason I have it in my head that the Japanese are not particularly hot on environmental issues, and to be honest the sheer amount of packaging on everything in their shops does nothing to dispel that. Ha, and I’ve just remembered something else we’ve seen all over the place. If the coffee shop you stop in has two bins for sorting your rubbish, do you know what the labels read in English? “Combustible” and “Non-combustible”. Nice. Starbucks appreciate your assistance in helping them determine what should be burned and what should be buried.
Sushi for lunch too

Sushi for lunch too


Aaaaaanyway, back to holiday mood. We had a sushi breakfast at the market, in one of the nicer market restaurants (Ryu Sushi). It was the best quality I’ve ever had, probably better still for the surroundings. Then again, we had more sushi for lunch at a place in Asakusa and I’d say it was the second best I’ve ever had. When sushi is done right, you never have a piece that requires chewing doggedly through, or with any fibrous bits. This is a good sushi day. Dinner was a change, though, our second blow-out meal: Kondo, a 2 Michelin star tempura restaurant. Two hours eating the most delicious bites, all prepared right in front of us by chef Kondo over two woks full of hissing oil.
Chef Kondo and his hot woks

Chef Kondo and his hot woks


Hm. It looks as though we’ve lost our little owl print camera case, that we keep the compact camera in.


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