Normally I do not get out of bed at 4:10am to do anything. This morning I was willing to make an exception and brother let me tell you it was so worth every single minute of sleep I gave up.
The drill is to get out the door at 4:30am so you can be in line no later than 5:00am. You make your way back to the auction area, being very careful not to get crushed by the trucks, motor bikes, crazy little work trolley things or forklifts, and then you wait.
Around 5:30am the magic happens. A bunch of guys gather round and an auctioneer has at it. Tuna auctioning heaven! Not just any old tuna, I am talking about huge yellowfin. Within minutes the auction is over and then it is on to the next lot of yellowfin. It is just like a "Market in Wheat" but with sharp meat hooks and frozen fish. Buyers and sellers coming together to make trades. Simple as that.
...and as if the auction wasn't amazing enough, on the way out I stopped at a tiny sushi place (seats 9) for the best raw fish I have ever had in my entire life. Ever have raw sea urchin for breakfast? Try it sometime.
If I had to pick one thing, and one thing only, from this trip that I would recommend to anyone visiting Tokyo I would pick the Tsukiji Fish Market. The place will make you glad to be alive.