Photoessay: Tsukiji Market

Tsukiji Market is the spiritual home of sushi, sashimi and most Japanese cuisines. Every single edible (and sometimes perhaps best not eaten) creature from the deep can be found for sale here; how anybody decides which supplier to go to is baffling, because there are just so many of them. It’s also a chaotic environment where photographers might get taken out by one of those three-wheeler carts if they’re not paying attention. The authorities closed off the early-morning tuna auctions – where fish fetch as much as US$150,000 each – to tourists and photographers because it was distracting business. Having been lucky enough to witness it firsthand, I think it’s safe to say that you wouldn’t have a clue what’s going on there anyway – they don’t even speak to each other in normal Japanese, and bids are conducted by a system of secret handshakes that are hidden behind a glove. One has to be there very early to see any action at all – simply because the food has to reach its destination in time for lunch. And no trip would be complete without a hearty breakfast at one of the many surrounding stalls that support the workers.  Here’s an amuse-bouche for the upcoming Tokyo workshop with Leica. MT

Series shot at various times with the Nikon D3 and D200

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