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On Tuesday, nine members of our Essential Honshu group got up for a 6am subway ride to Tsukiji fish market – the biggest in the world. The sights outside the market can be as interesting inside. Wandering amongst the closely-packed stores, we saw wasabi plants, beanpole-shaped burdock root and some rolling-pin-shaped daikon, then in the market itself, we saw live shellfish, wriggling eels and a 6 foot long tunafish being sawed up on a wooden table.
(We came in from the south entrance – a strict official had waved us away from the west entrance telling us to come back at 9am).
For most of the group, the highlight of Tsukiji was the Fuji course sushi breakfast at Yamazaki`s. The bald headed chef was a 50 year market veteran; Tsukiji is his life. He told me, if and when the market relocates, he will die. In the meantime, he`s doing a great job. He entertained us with chirpy manner and his professional performance. Many said it was the best sushi they had tasted in their lives. It was so good, everybody left empty plates, much to my disappointment as there were no leftovers to claim.