Friday, December 30, 2011

NOTICE / お知らせ

As of tomorrow, I will be headed to my wife's hometown of Aomori for the New Year's Holiday so there will be no new posts on my blog for at least a week.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Walk around Tsukiji (Part 2) Tsukiji Central Wholesale Market / 築地の散歩 (パート2) 築地中央市場

It's past 9:00am, I can now check out the Tsukiji Central Wholesale Market.  When you read the guide books that tell you this is the world's largest fish market, you better believe they aren't kidding.  The place is massive.  How you buy and pay for the fish is beyond me.  There is no cash register, just fish, fish, fish, fish, and more fish, and other ocean goodies!


This is just a tiny glimpse into the actual fish market.


Where do you start looking in this market anyway?


Yes, that's a band saw for cutting fish!


I imagine this is an everyday site in Tsukiji.


The band saw at work.


You know these fish are fresh.


Funky fish with a big protruding eye!


Various clams / あさりがいろいろ

Blocks of fish / 魚の塊

Cuts of maguro / マグロいろいろ

You can spend hours in here and not buy fish and still have an entertaining time.


Those special vehicles are definitely a necessity here.


The pictures above still don't give justice to how large this fish market is.  Its incredibly huge.  No doubt about this being the world's largest. 


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Walk around Tsukiji (Part 1) Outer Market / 築地の散歩 (パート1) 築地場外市場商店街

I finally got around to taking a walk around the world famous Tsukiji fish market.  Why did I wait so long to visit this area.  The answer is simple - I'm just not a morning person!  However, the day after my wife and nephew went to the Korean Girl's Pop concert, I had to take my nephew to Tokyo Station so he could catch the first train back to Aomori so I found myself awake at an early hour on my day off.  It would seem such a shame not to take this opportunity to check out the Tsukiji fish market before it's rumoured transfer to a new location.  (I think there is currently no plan to move it though).  Currently, you are not allowed in the tuna auction area (unless you're with a tour group, thanks to so many ill-mannered tourists) and the official fish market isn't open to the public until 9:00am.  So I started off my walk around the outer market.

日本に来て16年が経ってやっと築地に行きました。なんで長年行ってみてなかったって?その答えは簡単。僕は朝に弱いんです。でもこの間嫁の甥っ子が韓国ガールズグループのライブに東京に来た翌日、甥っ子は早い時間の新幹線で青森に帰るから東京駅まで見送ってあげた。自分の休日で朝早く起きてるから、築地市場を探索しようと思い付いた。市場の移転の噂もあるし(現在あの話はどうなってるのかな?)。 現在はツアーグループ参加しなければマグロのオークションは見られない、そして市場も一般客が入るのは朝9時からだ。ってことで、最初に散歩したのは築地場外市場商店街。

One of the entrances to the outer market / 外市場入り口の一つ

Still before 9:00am / まだ朝9時前

A very fish market-like scene / 超市場の感じの写真

Another very Tsukiji-like scene / これも築地って感じですね

Ooh, crab ramen.  Unfortunately, I didn't buy any.  Maybe next time.


You know you're near the fish market when you see those vehicles pictured above.


A public rest area / 築地市場休憩室

Fish! / 魚!

Crabs! / 蟹!

A seafood lover's paradise! / シーフード好きの人の楽園

17 kg Yellowtail / 17kgのブリ

More fish / 魚がいっぱい

Octopi / タコ

And even more fish / まだまだ魚たち登場

Since I'm here in Tsukiji so early in the morning, of course I had to eat some fresh fish.  I ordered myself a bowl with salmon and maguro.  And some miso soup as well.

せっかく築地にいるので、新鮮な魚料理を食べるべきと思って、築地商事の中に「築地 かんの」という店でサーモン・まぐろ丼と味噌汁を食べた!

Salmon / Maguro Bowl with Miso soup / サーモン・マグロ丼と味噌汁

An excellent breakfast! / 最高の朝ごはん!

You get used to seeing those fish transporters after a while / 魚を運ぶ乗り物の珍しさがドンドンなくなります

9:00am!  Time to check out the actual Tsukiji Central Wholesale Fish Market!

9時! 築地中央市場探索時間だ!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Living in America / リビング・イン・アメリカ

Am I in the States?  No!  Am I going home for the holidays?  No. (Sorry Mom and Dad).  So what's up with that title?  As you can see from the label below, this post is actually about a restaurant.  An American one at that.  You see, the other week my wife and her nephew went to a Korean girl's pop concert so I was left to my own devices.  So I hung out with an American friend at an American restaurant where we spoke American English.  We were at The Outback Steakhouse in Shinagawa.

アメリカに居る? いいえ。 アメリカに帰る? いいえ (すまんな母ちゃん、父ちゃん)。じゃ、あのタイトルの意味は何だ? ラベルをみれば分かると思う。このネタのメインは行った料理店です。アメリカの人気チェイン店。 先週嫁と嫁の甥っ子が韓国のガールズポップのライブに行った為、一人で暇になったので、アメリカ人の友達とアメリカのレストランに行ってアメリカ英語でずーと話してた。品川駅の近くにある人気ステーキハウス「アウトバック」に行った。

Service at American restaurants - all you eat bread!

アメリカンレストランならあるサービス ‐ お代わり自由のパン!

And before we had our main meal, we ordered some popcorn shrimp.  Ooh, I think this is even better than their bloomin' onion and I love their bloomin' onion.


Popcorn Shrimp / ポップコーンシューリンプ

We were at a steakhouse but we both ordered ribs!!


My friend is like my Dad, a pure meat and potatoes man!  Bread, fries, and mashed potatoes - how much starch can we eat today?


Since we're being so American tonight, no itadakimasu or kanpai.  It's "cheers" or "bottom's up" and "dig in"!