The world’s largest fish market thrills the senses
WHEN the new facilities for Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market were opened in 1935, the architects probably never imagined it would become such a popular tourist attraction. People from all over the world come in vast numbers to see the globe’s largest fish market, employing more than 60,000 people.
Especially popular is the early morning tuna auction. Men clad in blue and wearing black rain boots yank steel hooks into the exposed rear ends of hundreds of frozen tunas laid out on the concrete floor of one section of the market. With small flashlights, they quickly check the quality of the tuna. Few words are uttered. Most men walk quietly from fish to fish, careful not to let competitors know which tuna they like best.
As the auction starts, a man standing on a wooden stool shouts identification numbers and prices. Brokers place their bids, almost unnoticeably. It’s quiet, restrained, organized. You wouldn’t know that enormous amounts of money change hands. In January, a single bluefin tuna fetched a record price of 155 million yen ($1.7 million or £1.05 million).
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