Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto, Japan, is a worthy finalist in the New 7 Wonders nominations and world-renowned as one of Asia’s great cultural heritage sites, but there is another less grandiose yet equally significant cultural venue that has Intrepid travellers hooked, as group leader Aaron Davis explains…
“Tsukiji fish market is a wonder. This extraordinary pre-dawn fish trading frenzy becomes even more of a wonder each time I visit and the statistics are astounding:
* Over 15,000 people work in the fish market.
* Another 20,000 visit to buy the amazing range that is on offer 6 days a week.
* Tsukiji is closed on Sundays and there are other holidays and days off which give staff a chance to join the 3rd or 4th century old festivals to pay homage to the mariners’ Gods that protect the fishermen.
* 400-500 different varieties of seafood are on offer at any one time. With the seasonal nature of some fish it means over 2,000 different types are available over the course of a year.
* The largest yellow fin tuna ever offered for sale weighed over 600kg (1322 pounds).
* 1 million USD has been spent on a single tuna at auction.
* 2,800 ton is sold each day totaling around 6 billion USD each and every year.
* Up to 17,000 trucks are required to transport the seafood produce each day!
The history of the Japanese fish market dates back to the 16th century, but Tsukiji has operated on this site, about 10 minutes drive from Tokyo’s Ginza shopping district, since 1935. Tsukiji is a mini town with its own post office, restaurants, sushi knife stores, museum and library, but first and foremost it’s a busy workplace, so we respect the space and professionals in it when we visit on our Intrepid trips.
Over 12 million people will eat something each day that is sold at Tsukiji market that very morning, which is nearly 10 percent of the entire Japanese population. So my advice is don’t miss out on this real life wonder of Japan and set the alarm clock for a special sushi breakfast!”