It is called Edomae sushi, so the most appropriate place to eat it is Tokyo, formerly known as Edo. The skills of chefs raised in this long history of sushi. The best fishery products in Japan — no, in the world, are all found at Toyosu Market. There is no question that combined with the veteran sushi experts, Tokyo is the battleground for sushi restaurants and where you’ll find the most prestigious locations like Ginza, Nishi azabu etc.
During the Edo period, tuna was not highly valued as a sushi topping and it was referred to as “Gezakana” meaning that it was inferior to normal fish. The reason was the big size of the tuna. At this time there was no ice, so tuna had to be salted. It was cut into blocks, salt was spread all over and in it, and that was it. At Uogashi (the market prior to Tsukiji) it was treated at shops that specialized in salting fish. The dark, discolored, salty chunks of flesh really were nothing but “Gezakana*”.
*Gezakana －Relatively low-cost sushi ingredients, such as gizzard shad and horse mackerel. Bluefin tuna used to be also called gezakana in the Edo period, for losing its freshness easily.
Fish farming is to hatch fish from eggs or to raise from juvenile fish right after hatching. Imported fish farming tuna, which is out in the market now, is actually fish fattening tuna that is raised bigger by feeding to full-grown fish. Fish fattening is to catch tuna by fixed net fishing method when they are skinny after egg-laying, and to fatten by feeding wild fish such as sardine and mackerel for three months.
We went to Tsujiki wholesale fish market today also, and actually got to enter at the time all food professionals are buying and selling.
The tuna auction begins at 5:00 am. Then about 6:30 am, intermediate wholesalers start lining up their winning bid tuna. Therefore, it is around the time when people like masters from sushi restaurants come to buy fish. Once professional deals settle down at 10:00 am, all the other visitors and foreign tourists are allowed to get in the market.
What exactly is the difference between on what is going on before and after 10:00 am? That is how determined sellers and buyers are. It is entirely full of sprit because it is a place for exchanging valuable information.
This is one situation I saw how they interact. As they talk about how Tuna, air transported from Boston, is fatty but doesn’t have any flavor of Tuna compared to the inshore ones, they let me try a piece. The one from inshore definitely tastes more as Tuna for sure.
“I’ll take about a 20cm width of the belly, around this part of the inshore one.”
We really don’t understand but there is a regulation, that taking photos is prohibited at a seafood wholesale market. And its visiting hours have recently changed from 10am（11am） started from 15 June, 2018.
Even though cameras are forbidden as a rule, if you ask intermediate wholesalers for permission, they will gladly let you take pictures. It doesn’t seem quite right to me to have such a rule, as if it were an art museum.
We would like to thank all the intermediate wholesalers who willingly accepted me for shootings at their shops. We are praying you will carry on more thriving business.