Skipping ahead to the last full day I was in Japan - the Tsukiji Fish Market.
It was a cold, rainy morning. I remember waiting in line for about an hour to have some early morning sashimi, with more than a hundred others waiting in different lines for tiny sushi restaurants to accommodate them. Shop owners of tonkatsu restaurants irritably shushed people waiting in sushi lines far away from blocking their entrances.
People quietly judged the tourists sitting around long after their meals had been finished, taking up their precious seating space. The sushi restaurant workers were too kind to ask them to leave.
When our turn finally came and we were seated, I ordered quickly and finished my meal in a hurry. I hated making people wait, knowing they were standing out in the rain just for some fresh tuna that had been auctioned off and prepared just a few hours before.
"That was the best tuna I have ever tasted," they said. I couldn't really remember - I can't enjoy a meal when I know I'm being rushed. Either way, eating sushi in Japan never disappointed.
Afterwards, we walked around in the fish market and boy, "it" came to life. If I had an appropriate word for "it," it would be loosely defined as that source of photography inspiration that so needs to be nurtured outside of work. It's that kind of scene that makes me excited to have a camera around, and maybe wishes I had my entire collection of cameras there with me at the same time.
The atmosphere was incredible inside the fish market. Workers were bustling with their fish carts, unapologetically honking at the people in the way of their route. Vendors laughed with each other as they smoked, completely uninterested in the tourists marveling at the wide variety of fish carcasses. A worker stopped washing a live octopus to let people touch its suckers. Of all the places in Japan, I think this was actually my favorite place to photograph.