We woke up at 4am to prepare for our trip and took a cab from our hotel to Tsukiji Fish Market. Taking cab in Japan is very expensive and the 20 minutes ride costs us 5,000 Yen (SGD$75). We had no choice but to take cab because the registration for the tuna auction starts early at 5am.
There are two visiting time for the tuna auction, 5:25am to 5:50am and 5:50am to 06:15am. We missed the first visiting time slot as the taxi driver dropped us off at the wrong place.
Can you spot the police car in the photo? The police wanted to catch us for breaking the traffic rules and I had no ideas about it at all. Lol!
Me: “Wah.. 这里为什么会有警察车的?”
Boy: “怎么办啊? 他们真的要来捉我们的.”
I continued to ask the security guards about the tuna auction and the policemen were standing beside us puzzled that why we did not have any reactions. I think the policemen gave up on us cos of the communication barrier and we did not even acknowledge their presence.
We were afraid that we would be late for the registration cos it is based on a first-come, first-served basis and each auction is limited to 60 visitors. We were frantically searching for the registration booth and when I saw the booth, I was too excited and grabbed my boy to dash through the red lights. I was pretty sure it was green lights but boy said it wasn’t and we obstructed the traffic. The police switched on the car siren and turned into the minor road to catch us. I had no idea about it at all till my boy told me about it. Like oh-my-goodness? Why am I so blur?
The group of us was ushered into a room for a short briefing before the tuna auction starts.
Everyone was given a green vest to identify ourselves as “visitors”.
My boy was very happy to see the tuna auction cos his favorite sushi is tuna sushi. I was very happy also cos I have always wanted to visit Tsukiji Fish Market to catch the live tuna auction. It is one of the largest fish markets in the world and a mecca for sushi lovers!
The guy standing on the box is the auctioneer and he will ring a cow bell to attract the buyers’ attention to gather around the auction. He will chant at lightning speed and the buyers will use hand signals to bid.
Here is a video of the tuna auction! Even though it was only a short visit of 15 minutes, it was certainly an eye-opener for us to have a truly authentic Japanese experience.
Of cos, how can we miss coming to Tsukiji Fish Market without having sushi! The hotel’s concierge recommended this popular sushi restaurant (Sushi Dai) and told us to expect at least a few hours of waiting time. This is the ultimate holy grail for sushi lovers and you must definitely try it when you are here!
True enough, you can see the long queue and we waited for close to 3 hours under the cold and raining weather!
You got to choose the more expensive option Omakase Course (3,900 Yen) which the chef will choose the best choices of the day. Additionally, you can choose one extra nigiri item (i.e. fatty tuna, sea eel, sea urchin, shellfish, seasonal fish).
It is HELL outside and HEAVEN inside. It is a torturing process waiting outside the restaurant peeping through the small windows looking at how these people inside the restaurant enjoying the sushi while we are standing outside enduring the cold and harsh weather! Look at the glow and smirk on their face! So irritating!
All the frustrations were gone as we were greeted by a sincere apology from this friendly and dedicated sushi chef. He was very nice and he kept saying “gomenasai” (meaning sorry) that we had to wait for so long. He was also very enthusiastic to make small talks with us and even show us how to eat each sushi.
We got the tamago first and it was served hot.
Both of us got really excited when we saw the sushi chef was preparing our favorite fatty tuna (O-toro) sushi! He told us to eat the O-toro sushi with one bite.
O-toro (Fatty Tuna)
The whole piece just melts in your mouth. I immediately felt like I was in heaven and I close my eyes while chewing to appreciate the taste better. It was so mind-blowing that I felt that I was floating in happiness. Ultimate sushi! So good, so good!
This is the closest picture that I can find to show you the feelings that I had after eating the O-toro sushi. Very touched, really.
Suzuki (Sea Bass)
Tai (Red Snapper)
Uni (Sea Urchin)
Sea urchin sushi, my another favorite! So fresh! So good! My second favorite sushi after o-toro sushi for this whole course. Slurps!!!
Shiraebi (Baby Shrimp)
I think this is my first time having baby shrimp sushi. It leaves a fresh sweetness tingling in your mouth.
Magurozuke (Marinated Tuna)
Akagai (Red Clam)
It was served so fresh and the clam was still moving! What an experience for us!
Unagi (Sea Eel)
This got to be my third favorite for the course! I have never eaten unagi sushi that is this amazing and it is very different from the usual unagi sushi. The unagi was so soft that it melts in your mouth with the rice. What a unique sensation. My boy did not like unagi so he gave me his unagi sushi in exchange for my tuna roll. What a steal!
And of cos, we chose the O-TORO sushi for our last piece without a doubt.
And again, I felt like I was floating in happiness. SHIOK. SO SHIOK. Super SHIOK to start and end the course with our favorite o-toro sushi! THE BEST DAMN SUSHI WE EVER HAD IN OUR LIFE! What a lovely memory!
You can see the glow on our face! So SHIOK! So happy! This made our trip to Tokyo so worthwhile! We finally had the ultimate sushi experience! I have not eaten my favorite sushi for the past one month cos I do not want to destroy the beautiful and lovely memories that we had for sushi. This got to be one of best dining experience in my life! We really wanted to stay longer in the restaurant and order more but we felt sorry for the people standing outside in the cold. Happiness is meant to be shared, isn’t it?
I think this is a very important question for all sushi lover – WHERE is this sushi restaurant?!
Sushi Dai (寿司大)
6th building, Tsukiji Market, 5-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan