Monday, January 9, 2012

Noryangjin Fish Market

When I go travelling, I'm a sucker for markets of all sorts, clothing markets, traditional markets, night markets, even fish markets. You tend to see another aspect of the culture and the way in which people do business in other countries in a variety of industries.  This fascination of mine was what brought me to Noryangjin (for future comparison with Tsukiji in Japan =P). The market is located at the Noryangjin subway stop and is a really rather non-descript building from the outside. In fact, if it weren't for the signs with the fish plastered on the poster, it would be unlikely that I would have taken this industrial-looking warehouse to be the market. Despite that however, the building is right at the subway station and not too difficult to find. Just exit the subway station and follow the signs with the fish to cross the bridge over the subway tracks and voila!

After crossing the bridge and entering from the roof, I walked down a smelly and wet flight of stairs and was treated to a terrific sight!  There were literally rows upon rows of fishmongers as far as the eye could see lengthwise down the building with large lamps hanging over the individual stalls.

Seafood ranging from your typical shrimp, lobster, clams, mussels were all here, some in gigantic proportions, particularly the huge scallops which were of particular note to me (I love scallops!).

Fish of all sorts, shapes and sizes were on sale,

with some even sliced neatly into a plate of sashimi.  I doubt you can get much fresher than this unless you go fishing and cut up the slices on the fishing boat!

This was one of the larger fish I saw; although I had arrived around 10 am, so I'm pretty sure most of the really large catch was already gone.

Some flounder and rays of some sort:

Sea cucumbers and clams:


Here's another picture to emphasize how huge this market really is - it literally goes out as far as the eye can see.

Giant squid (not anywhere near the size of the Kraken though)! And another pictures of the market from the second level. One of the most amusing parts of going to this market was that the ahjummas and ahjussis are all trying to lure you to buy their stock. My answer to that was always to pull out my trusty camera and snap away and they'd almost immediately stop their sales pitch =)

While the market certainly isn't for the faint of heart (or more precisely, people averse to the smell of raw fish), it is most certainly a fascinating experience, whether from a cultural perspective or even just plain curiosity. One thing's for sure though, its definitely not something you see everyday!

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