The hustle and bustle of the fish market early in the morning was impressive. Everyone was driving these electric carts, very closely resembling a golf cart without a top, loaded with fresh fish, herbs and vegetables on their way to be delivered to their customer.
“This place was a liability, with signs no one can read, people shouting, carts honking, and no proper lanes for pedestrians to follow, it was surprising to see no one got hurt. But what a sight. Once we got away from the busy entrance and continued to make our way into the market it started to dawn on me that I would have a field day photographing this beautiful energy. They say that when you get lost capturing a specific moment or feeling through the lens of a camera it somehow takes you away from being present and enjoying your surroundings. I personally disagree, if anything I was more alert to the presence of a man chiselling away at a frozen tuna the size of a small car. It made me alert to this man’s relationship to the knife as it pounded the iced tuna. Zooming in on the rubber boots at this particular moment grounded me and allowed me to make sense of all the chaos in the fish market”.
I, of course, did not leave empty handed: one huge bag of algae for homemade miso soup, a bag of the finest grade of shaved katsuobushi, Japanese hot sauce (triple the hotness of a normal tobasco sauce), a 100g bag of yummy matcha, and nori for soups. I was happy!
I know some of you are wondering what katsuobushi is? I feel it’s important to define this, after all it is a Japanese staple, but less known in the west. Essentially, it is dried, fermented, smoked tuna. It keeps forever and can be used to make fabulous dashi soup, among other things. You can buy it whole (it looks and feels much like a brick) and slice it yourself, which is the best and freshest option, however you would then need to invest in the tools to be able to create the shavings. I bought the flavourful shavings. So there you have it!
Another question you guys might have is, is there a hedgehog cafe in Tokyo ? Why, yes there is! But you need a reservation. These cute little creatures could be in your lap while you pet them and enjoy your coffee all at the same time. It’s all very cute, but I couldn’t help but think if these guys are actually enjoying this captive lifestyle. So I did a little research and it turns out hedgehogs need a lot of room to roam much bigger than the cages seen in the cafe. And apparently they shouldn’t be separated from their families … All I can say is I hope they get released to a nice wide open space where they can roam wildly being surrounded by family members.
As I promised before, I am attaching a list at the bottom with some of the drink and food places we have been to. I also promise that next week my post will be about Kyoto! It’s so difficult for me to pick some snippets of the trip because there are so many cool things about Japan !!!
Until next week, stay classy and creative