My First And Last Time At Tsukiji
Camera Film Photo's Founder
I have visited Tokyo many times but mostly I travel there for business, however back in August 2018, a friend of mine who is also my business partner in Japan said that I should make a visit the "Tsukiji" fish market before they close that area down and move to a newer building. To many this the "Tsukiji" fish market is famous for the Tuna auction which takes place daily early in the morning.
Every morning, tourist can visit Tsukiji to get free ticket to experience the tuna auction, but there are limited tickets each day which are at no cost, but on a first come first serve basis. I can't remember for how many people but its for about 40 to 60 persons each day. I arrived at 4:30am, I thought that was early enough, but tickets were already given away.
I was a little disappointed, but my friend Takumi had an idea to see if there was a way to get into the market place where retailers visit the fish dealers to get fresh fish for their shop or restaurants.
So we decided to head towards the area where the main market is, as we arrived there, we both got turned away, because "Tourist" aren't allowed in. With disappointment growing, we decided to visit the fresh fish retailers which were around the corner.
So it was still rather early in the morning, to my surprise the shop were open and fresh fish of all sorts and of course plenty of Tuna being available for street customer to purchase. Takumi and myself stopped at a Tuna speciality shop and decided to purchase some for dinner later that day. As "Takumi" started to speak to the female owner, he explained to her that he had brought me to experience Tsukiji tuna auction but didn’t expects tickets were all given out at 3:00am in the morning and with disappointed left the area to come visit the fish shop here.
We had stopped at this particular shop because they had different cuts of tuna available from different oceanic regions, Since it was my first time here, and myself being such a foodie, I had to buy a variety to so that Takumi and I could try it during dinner time. Takumi and the owner continued to chat away and later in their conversation passed her name card over to him with something written on it. Waiting patiently, Takumi finishes and says "lets go". So as we walk off he says we now can get into the market. He says its not the auction but at least you can see what the market looks like inside. That put a smile as I was excited to make some pictures.
I grabbed my camera out of my bag and off we went. I had two cameras in the bag a "Leica M7 with a 35mm summicron ver 1 with goggles" and "Ricoh GR1v" point and shoot camera. Both cameras were load with Kodak Tri-X at rated at ISO 800.
Photographing inside the main market is prohibited and there are signs outside. So as I got closer to the main entrance, I put my camera away. As we approached, we halted by the security immediately and Takumi said to him that we have an appointment with a fish stall presenting the name card that the owner of the shop we visited earlier.
As we passed the check point and into the main market area, I took out my camera and photographed away, yet being as discrete as possible. It was extremely chaotic to my surprise but the place was buzzing kind of being in a city of itself.
During my time in the market I shot about 2 rolls of film on the Leica and 1 roll of film on the Ricoh GR. The ones which are dated are shot on the GR and the ones that don’t have a stamp were on the Leica.
We spent an hour in there walking though the market, and I tried to photograph as much as possible discretely. This was my last opportunity to photograph at Tsukiji as I don't think I would be back again before October 7th which is the last day that it would be open.