japan, fish market, travel

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Haiku Fish

My experience in the cat café was very much the opposite of my experience in the fish market. While the cat café was tiny, warm, and relaxing, the fish market was giant, cold, and jarring. Japan is expert-level at these types of juxtapositions…which is why Takeshita street, home of the Harajuku subculture (adult doll-humans dressed as plastic rainbow babies) where I imagine anything made out of natural materials is immediately launched into space with a candy rocket, is a five minute stroll from the austere Meiji shrine. In summary, they put the enchanted forest next door to candy land.

travel, asia, explore
Purikura Photo Booth vs. Meiji Shrine Entrance

travel, asia, temple, explore

Anyway, since eating fish is very much part of Japanese culture (they put that sh*t in everything), the fish mothership, Tsukiji Fish Market was a must see. Full disclosure: I don’t like to eat fish or seafood. You do you, lobsters. So, going to the fish market was akin to dragging someone who hates vegetables to a farmers’ market (except that farmers’ markets are delightful and have cheese). I also wrote a Haiku about that experience because it literally makes my experience poetic and not just a list of grievances.

Tsukiji Fish Market

japan, fish market, travel

Woke up too early
First visit Inari Shrine
“Protection From Waves”

Fish immersion time
Predictably it smells here
This place is real big

japan, fish market, travel

Woops I’m in the way
“Fish heads, come get ya fish heads”
In the way again

japan, fish market, travel

japan, fish market, travel

Pile of sandy crabs
Pointy shiny silver fish
I think that’s whale meat

japan, fish market, travel

Yup that is whale meat
I thought whales were protected
Why is there whale meat
Oops excuse me sir
I’m in the way yet again
I should relocate
Oh what is this thing
Seriously what is this
Is this fish or plant

japan, fish market, travel

Yay a friendly face
Comfort zone activated
Strawberry buddy

japan, fish market, travel

Well that was fishy
But a worthwhile adventure
Whales are friends, not food.

So, I wasn’t exactly comfortable in the fish market, but that’s not the fish market’s fault. I was standing in the middle of workplace during its rush hour, and my gangly extremities occupy a lot of space. Also, as I mentioned, I don’t eat fish. I do, however, eat meat, and I am sure I would have had an equally unpleasant experience at a butcher shop.

Also, I missed arguably the best part of the market experience, which is the early morning auction (it’s from 3:30 – 6:00 am in case you are wondering why I wasn’t present (click here to learn more). Surrounding the fish market are all these cool shops where you can order fishy treats. The long lines I saw suggest that early morning fish treats are appealing to a lot of people. My advice would be, if you like seafood and fish, go to the auction, frown at the whale meat vendors, and then get in line at the fish stalls. FYI this is also my strategy at all museums: get there early to see the special exhibit, go straight to gift shop.

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