My wife Joan recently led a small group of contemporary ceramics collectors on a tour of Western Japan. I accompanied the group and enjoyed being back in Japan, where we lived for three years from 1998 to 2001.
The group assembled in Tokyo before leaving for southwestern Japan. Led by our wonderful guide Steve Beimel, our first stop was the famed Tsukiji fish market, the largest in the world, serving the 25 million people who live in the greater Tokyo area. The market's hundreds of thousands of pounds of fish and other sea creatures smell like, well . . . nothing. This is accounted for the by impeccable handling of the fish and shellfish from the moment they are caught until the moment they are sold. Storage in ice or cold water guarantees this.
I have no idea how many different varieties of fish and shellfish may be found on a given day at Tsukiji, but there are no doubt hundreds. Some look appetizing, others not, at least to a western eye, but all are interesting. Here are some photogenic ones.