The word sushi has become synonymous with Japanese cuisine as the culinary treat spread around the world in the past few decades. Today, people will travel far and wide to discover their favorite sushi type, arguing which gourmet dining room or which hole-in-the-wall place serves the best fish. But as the inventors of the dish, most foodies agree that Japan maintains its mastery of all things sushi. Enjoyed many ways in Japan, sushi can be found at the most luxurious kaiseki (Japanese meal that changes according to the season) to kaiten sushi (sushi served on a convenyor belt in a fun, affordable restaurant.)
You need not look further than the Tsukiji Fish Market, the world's largest wholesale fish market, for the world's freshest sushi. At 5:00 in the morning, this warehouse bustles with pre-dawn commerce as some of the world's highest quality fish gets auctioned off at wholesale prices to restaurant buyers, chefs, and food aficionada. Watch as an auctioneer flails about with a bell and clipboard, yelling auction prices in front of endless rows of enormous tuna and hundreds of other types of fish, selling at the rate of 2,000 tons per day.
After witnessing the excitement and commotion of the fish auctions, visitors may wander just outside the wholesale market to find a series of small restaurants that serve some of the freshest sushi received from the morning's sale. Sushi Dai is one such restaurant that chooses the finest quality fish on the market to serve to locals and visitors alike, but only until 2:00 in the afternoon. Order the setto, or set sushi course, which features tuna, eel, shrimp, and other catches of the day, as well as six delicious tuna rolls wrapped with rice and seaweed. Get to Sushi Dai early, however, as hour-long waits are not uncommon.
After indulging in what is sure to be a memorable meal, visitors may wander throughout the outer regions of the market where small shops line the building. Here, visitors may purchase flatware, professional-grade cooking knives and utensils, and various other authentic food-related products. After the morning's commotion is through, relax in the neighboring Hamarikyu Gardens, where a traditional Japanese garden with lush landscapes and scenic ponds will underline a perfect day.
Take the Marunouchi Subway Line from Tokyo to Ginza (3 minutes) and transfer to the Hibiya Subway Line to get to Tsukiji Station (3 minutes). The fare is 160 yen.
Types of Sushi
The rice bed has various layers of fish and is served in a bowl called Gomoku Sushi or Iso-don
This is a large Maki roll that has many different ingredients using Nori, which is a seaweed wrap
Instead of using the traditional vinegar rice, brown, fried tofu is used
Vinegar rice topped with a slice of raw or cooked fish, or vegetables
Vinegar rice and other ingredients of choice pressed into a mold
These are cone-shaped seaweed rolls also called a hand roll
|Amaebi - Sweet shrimp
Ebi - Shrimp
Hamachi - Yellow Tail
Hirame - Halibut
Hotate - Scallop
Ika - Squid
Ikura - Salmon roe
Kani - Crab
Kappa Maki - Cucumber
|Maguro - Tuna
Masago - Smelt Roe
Mirugai - Giant clam
Saba - Mackerel
Sake - Salmon
Tako - Octopus
Tai - Red snapper
Tamago - Egg
Tekka Maki - Tuna Roll