Would you eat sushi for breakfast?
Before you answer that question, allow me to set the scene for you…
Wake up early – 6 a.m. early – and travel by train and subway to the Tokyo Fish Market.
Walk past trucks of all shapes and sizes as they come and go in and out of the loading bays.
Be very mindful of the small electric forklift trucks, laden with boxes of fish and seafood, as they whiz around each other and past the half-asleep and bewildered tourists, down narrow corridors in a massive open warehouse.
Sense the excitement of the place and feel the energy of the hustle and bustle of the world’s busiest fish market. Listen as the owners of the stalls call out orders and bark instructions to runners and drivers.
Hear the thud of a near-frozen fish as it lands on a well worn wooden table and hear the long thin carving knives, a fraction of their original thickness, being sharpened on whetstones, themselves worn concave from use.
Marvel at the efficiency of the men and women wielding those blades, cutting the fish with practiced strokes and surgical precision, leaving very little to waste.
Follow two workmen on a break through an unmarked door into a nondescript restaurant and push past your nervousness about being the only non-Japanese in the room…
Smell the sea and the cold fish and the sushi rice and the steam from the barley tea in a blend of scents that can only be a sushi restaurant.
Touch the perfectly formed rice and drag your finger across the expertly sliced fish, leaving a trace of wasabi.
Feel the fish melt in your mouth and dissolve in perfect harmony with rice, wasabi and soy sauce.
Now — would you eat sushi for breakfast?
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My next post had more Japanese culinary delights and one of the best unexpected meals I’ve ever had.