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Officially called the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market, this sprawling complex handles mainly fish, but also fruits and vegetables. This is outside the market building.
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The market is near Tsukijishijō Station on the Toei Ōedo Line and Tsukiji Station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line. The first subway arrives at around 5:20 am. First you walk through the fruit section..
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Fruit section.
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Watch out for these speeding trolleys. They are almost everywhere.
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There is no map of the place so you may or may not find the tuna auctions. It's also easy to get lost in the market. This is the fresh fish tuna storage area.
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Never saw this much tuna in my life.
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These fish can be huge, bigger and heavier than a sumo wrestler.
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All the fish are labeled. They might indicate where the fish was caught (or raised).
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Tails are cut off to show the flesh color.
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Buyers check the color of the flesh to determine how fatty the fish is.
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Cut-off tails
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Headless tuna carcasses
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Tuna head
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The market building has many signs of its old age.
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Frozen tuna auctions at Tsukiji Fish Market.
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Frozen tuna auctions. Buyers signal the auctioneer. Also see my YouTube video here.
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Frozen tuna anyone?
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Headless frozen tuna.
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These frozen fish did not show any signs of melting. Wonder how long it takes for them to defrost.
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Each fish is worth thousands or tens of thousands of US dollars.
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Looks good to me.
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Tying a ribbon on fish.
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Frozen tuna head
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Tuna belly, the fatty part of the fish for toro sashimi.
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Looks yummy.
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After the auctions are over, they haul out the fish using a variety methods.
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Hauling these tuna on this lift looked easy.
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All full and ready to go. Gee, how much is all that tuna worth??
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Smaller trolley for a smaller haul.
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Hand-drawn cart.
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Hand-drawn cart, good for four fish.
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Good exercise in the morning.
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The fish is taken to the fish stalls in the market.
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The frozen tuna is cut up into quarters lengthwise by a band saw.
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The band saw easily cuts through the frozen flesh. Also see my YouTube video here.
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Quite a few more to cut up.
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After the fish is cut, they shave it with an ax.
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Cutting up a fresh fish. They use a long, sharp knife, and not a band saw.
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Tuna knives
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I wonder how long it takes to be able to cut up a giant tuna.
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Where the head was attached.
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The fresh tuna is cut up into smaller blocks.
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This size is easy to sell to mom and pop sushi restaurants.
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Fresh tuna
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Caught in the Pacific Ocean.
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The tuna flesh between the rib-like bones is also choice meat. It is scraped off with a spoon.
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Packaged to sell.
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The huge fish market consists of rows and rows of fish monger stalls, divided by narrow aisles.
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Styrofoam and plastic cartons contain all kinds of fish.
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Cutting fish. See how they do on my YouTube video here.
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Fish waiting to be decapitated.
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OK, which one's next?
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Puffer fish swim happily, ignorant of their ultimate fate.
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Fish and more fish...
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Fish in ice
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Eels
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Sea urchin (uni), one of my favorites.
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Oysters
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Shellfish
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Sea urchins
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Shellfish
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Squid in black ink
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Octopi
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Tako
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Shrimp
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Prawns
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Prawns
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Frozen crab
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Styrofoam cartons trashed. Also see my YouTube video here. Another YouTube video here.
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