The freshest sushi I have ever eaten in my life was in the Rock Islands of Micronesia. A local fisherman pulled the fish out of the sea, and we were eating sashimi within the hour. It was all very simple and perfect. Supply is all about the vertical. It all starts somewhere. I was there.
Catches come from all over the pacific, from countries like Palau that have GDPs the size of Series D balance sheets. The fish are flown to Tokyo for the world's top fish market. Basically, Tsukiji is to fish what Wall Street is to money and finance (or was). Money passes through the markets. Fish passes through Tsukiji.
The place is part circus part aquatic slaughterhouse, with all manner of peculiar vehicles, people, critters, smells, and sights.
Some pretty cool wheels outside the market
Just rows and rows all day
Some nice Japanese fishermen
A place knows its place
Market opens at 3am most mornings, with the legendary tuna auction taking place at 520am
Lots of blades
Lots of fish
Fish goes from ocean to ship to plane to Tsukiji to cold packs to all over the world for sushi grade consumption
Just outside the market are some of the best fish markets in the world.
Big dead eyes
It smells about how it looks
More fish than you can imagine
The morning creeps in
No two vehicles seemed to be the same
Except these guys
Most of Tokyo's restaurants get fresh catches form Tsukiji via couriers like this. The really great restaurants will send their buyer to specialists that they have used for decades