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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Before I went to Tokyo, I would watch documentaries that show scenes where huge fishes were being auctioned off. A lot of fresh catch being sold by price wars early in the morning. And a lot of eating. Did I mention fresh seafood? Fascinated as I was, I wasn't really going to wake up early just to witness that.

Fast forward to a couple of months back, I'm in Tokyo and I wonder where did this happen? Where can I see fresh seafood? How can I experience the real Tokyo?

 HELLO TSUKIJI MARKET. This was the place to go to for all your needs. Let me be clear though I visited TSUKIJI MARKET (outer market - Jogai Shijo) late in the morning so no auctions here. The TSUKIJI FISH MARKET (inner market - Jonai Shijo) is where you need to wake up really early and be there by 4am as only a few visitors are allowed everyday. This is where the auctions happen.
Foreigners and locals alike walk pass different stalls that sell a lot of interesting things. Here are 5 things that you can do in TSUKIJI MARKET.

1) TASTE THE LOCAL DELICACIES. Stalls like these are abundant in the market. You could try out seaweeds, fish, squid, and other marinated delicacies. These are cooked and easy to eat stuff. Most of them have free taste!!! So go on ahead, try some and pick whatever you want. This is perfect for take homes and pasalubongs.

2) BUY TEA!!!!. MATCHA is the green tea that we get from Japan. From Kit Kats to cookies to drinks, matcha is a favorite flavor. Here you can get the real deal. 

They also offer different kinds of tea. Perfect for that afternoon delight.

3) TRY THE STREET FOOD.  Different as it is from the ones we have here in Manila, the street food sold are prepared with joy and pride. Cooked perfectly and not too oily, this is the best way to keep you full rather than buy everything in sight because of your appetite. 

I preferred the one with corn batter. It's like fish cake covered with corn. I loved it.
Another favorite of mine is the Ika or Squid. The squid is moist and tender. It melts in your mouth. Definitely fresh. SARAP! Add a little teriyaki sauce and you are good to go.

Speaking of food.

4) EAT SUSHI!!! This is the main reason why I was excited going here. Being the main entry point of fresh seafood for the country, I was at awe with all the different things I would like to try out.

You could buy them and eat the stuff in your hotel rooms or do it what the locals do.

Go to a sushi restaurant and eat it there.

This conveyor styled restaurant is manned by an old chef with a few apprentice. I'm just guessing here but the chef rolled and prepared all the sushis we ate and we were pleased with his technique and creations.
I was lucky as I was seated near the chef. All the new ones he made, I had first dibs! Remember, each plate has different pricing. You could also order something from the menu and not from the conveyor belt.
Also, they have condiments to help elevate the experience. Please brush up on sushi eating etiquette.
One thing I liked is the bamboo made holder on the right. It housed the matcha powder.
With the hot water dispenser at every other seat, I was able to get unlimited quantities of green tea! Yahoo!

I enjoyed the fresh sushi. Delicious and believe me when I say that UNI tastes different here compared to the ones we have in most of the Manila restaurants. 
THEY ARE SOOOO FRESH! Smooth, silky and none of that icky taste.
 When the meal ends, they just scan your plates with a "gun" and it prints a receipt. Like most of the restaurants in Japan, you pay at the counter near the exit.

Aside from sushi, there are other seafood and non seafood dishes that you could try out.
 Like yakitori and salmon belly.
and one of my favorites, scallops. HUGE ONES!


Walking around could definitely make you hungry even if you just ate sushi. 
You could pick up fruits or you could do what I did. Buy MOCHI with matcha fillings and a huge strawberry on top.
 I realized that they are quite big on sticky rice or glutinous rice for dessert also, So,
you could also go for these red been paste balls. I'm not really into them but it is worth a try.

TSUKIJI MARKET is one of those places that I will never forget. It shows the different delicacies that Japan has to offer. From fresh sea foods, to snacks, to desserts, to different teas, and even kitchen tools. This is a place worthy of a visit. My friends and family visited the place twice just because we enjoyed it so much. Remember though, the place is closed  

 5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan
** Closed during Sundays and some Wednesdays of the week.
** The inner market is closed to visitors during busy days starting early December to January.
 From google maps.

These 2  pictures are screen grab from

Disclaimer: Wrote this based on my experience. Paid for our meals.
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Written by Lovely

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  1. OMG for sushi and street food! I bet A will go crazy when he sees this! :P

  2. Yeap ^_^ you could spend half a day here and enjoy different things in tsukiji market ^_^ worh a third or 4x visit

  3. Sarap naman! Ah gusto ko na magpunta sa Japan!!!

  4. It's worth a visit. Tokyo is definitely one of those places that integrates their culture into their food.

  5. That's interesting really, never tasted any Japanese Real food (for me like those in a real japanese resto or shushi related stuffs). As for here in the Philippines, the most famous is Tokyo Tokyo. :) The last pic is heaven for me as i really love sweets. :)

    1. Hi steve, Have a go at it. I mean, in Manila there are a few Japanese themed restos that are close or getting there. IF you are familiar with Little Tokyo in Makati, It's a compound that has Japanese restos. Japanese expat frequent the place so I guess it's a good thing.

      Tokyo Tokyo for me is a little fast food. But I do enjoy their unli rice promo:D hehehe

  6. Do you know the name of the Tea shop that you show above? I have been too and now want some tea but don't know the name! I will be forever thankful :)

  7. Hi there, as much as I would love to give you the name of the tea shop, unfortunately, I can't remember it anymore. I believe that it is nearby the conveyor belt sushi place :) hope this helps.