On February 26th, 2010, my friends and I went to Tsukiji fish market. Tsukiji fish market is a very famous market in Tokyo where fresh fish and other kinds of seafood are sold. It is also famous for its tuna fish auction. Early in the morning (5 am to 6.15 am) the tuna fish are auctioned. The fish market is not open everyday, it has its own business calendar. The tuna auction is also not always held during the business days.
We went to Tsukiji to see the tuna auction and also ate sushi/seafood in sushi restaurants there. Since the tuna auction is only until 06.15 am, we had to take the first train to go to Tsukijishijo Station (築地市場駅). The first train from Fujigaoka could not get there in time, so we decided to stay for one night at Miyamaedaira, which is a little bit closer to Tsukijishijo than Fujigaoka. We took 05.06 train from Miyamaedaira to Tsukijishijo. (Actually we were too early and there was 05.01 train heading to Oimachi, but after counting the time to arrive at Tsukijishijo, we changed to that 05.06 train).
At Tsukijishijo Station and along the way to Tsukiji fish market, there was smell of fish and seafood. It was raining that morning, so we had to walk on the wet floor in the fish market. We finally arrived at the tuna auction field. Because many people, especially foreigners, wanted to see the tuna auction process, a path was provided for people who wanted to see the auction.
In the auction field, there were many frozen tuna fish to be auctioned. There were samples of the tuna fish cut from a part near their tails to be shown to the buyers. There were several sellers who shouted the auction process. Maybe one seller sold one fish at one time and after the fish was sold, other fishes were ordered in the auction.
The only persons who were shouting were the sellers. The buyers did not shout out their prices, they just raised their hands to show their prices instead. Every buyer wore a cap with his name labeled on it. The sellers would shout out the prices offered, and if there was no higher price, after being called 3 times, the buyer won the fish auction.
This is a video of the tuna auction process. I could not understand what they were saying because it was too fast and had a certain intonation. 😀