Had to wake up at 5.30am to get to the famous Tsukiji Fish Markets. Were too late for the tuna auctions, but the market was at its best about 7am anyway. We had to cross the supernova highway of forklift/little trucky things to get into the markets… these Japanese are very zippy with it! Some times I think they cut deliberately close turns to tourists just to scare them – no one ever gets hurt because the drivers are so quick witted, but I think this is an example of where the passive aggressiveness of the locals shines through. No one ever yells at tourists who get in the way – they are never that vulgar – but we are expected to jump out of their way immediately because they would reverse their little forklifts seemingly without regard… the tourists are invisible.
At the end of the gawking, we made our way to a famed sushi restaurant. The queue was 45 minutes, but the sushi was well worth it. A kindly ojii-chan (grandpa) chef served us as we pointed, waved, gestured at what we wanted in the picture menu. At one stage Ojii-chan put the octopus sushi in front of me and tapped the tail end of it, at which point it curled up right before my very eyes. He looked at me with a very pleased expression – as if to say “look! see how fresh it is!” – I shuddered a little at the thought it might still be alive in ANY way, but gamely ate it under his watchful eyes. The sushi here were indeed the best I ever had.