Country Spotlight: JAPAN [Terpii Travels]

Konichiwa Everyone! Terpii here, in the amazing Japan, and boy do I have lots to share with you about this trip! It all started with a craving for the freshest sushi…

Fish in a cooler

PC Sundy Lin

There I was, hopping around the world when I got the largest craving for fresh sushi. Since I’m on a traveling spree I decided, why not go to the place where I can get the best sushi in the world?!

So I hopped on over to Japan and was soon instructed to check out the Tsukiji Fish Market. It was packed! Luckily I didn’t arrive until late at night so I was able to make it to the very early open of the market. You have to get there before the sun rises!

I was hopping around, trying not to get in the way of the numerous Japanese buyers looking for fresh fish for their restaurants when I saw a European looking gentlemen struggling to get the attention of the man at a fish market stall. I hopped over and decided to help.

“Hey there! Need help ordering some fish in Japanese?” I asked happily in English. The man looked at me in confusion and then turned back to the fish vendor.

“I don’t speak English,” he said almost angrily. “I am French.”

I chuckled to myself and offered up an apology. “Sorry! I speak French too! Can I perhaps help you order something in Japanese? You see, I speak all languages. I love them all!”

Octopus in Japan

PC Cory Doctorow

The man looked over at me hesitantly and then sighed. “Well yes, I guess, while my assistant went out looking for octopus. I’m here to buy the freshest and best tuna for my 5-star restaurant in Paris. I’m flying back immediately in my Jet to serve this fish tonight! This stall is supposedly who carries the finest tuna in the market but perhaps due to their clout they are difficult to communicate with.”

“Ok,” I offered up. “How much tuna do you need, do you see any here you like and how much do you think is a fair price?”

“This stall supposedly has the most expensive tuna in the world so I’m not sure on the price. I just want the best of the best and I need it ASAP. My customers are anxious to try this dish and are willing to pay whatever the price may be. Thousands per plate perhaps.”

I realized I had heard about this stall! “Is this the stall where they once sold a tuna for $55,000?!” I asked.

“I’m sure, “ he scoffed, “although I was told they once sold a tuna for $600,000 so if that number is actually only $55,000 I’ll be leaving here with quite a bargain.”

Tuna market in Japan

PC Cromely

I could never imagine spending that kind of money on one fish but I decided to help this man before continuing on my way. Just then the man working the booth began walking back towards us. “Hello! Good Morning! Excuse me, can you help us sir?” The man stopped to look at me and waited for me to continue.  “Um yes, well, we are hoping to buy the best, absolutely most perfect tuna you have today. And we’d like to know the price too!”

The man pointed to a small slice of fish on display. Apparently it was a piece of tail. “That is the best fish we have today. You can decide if it’s the absolute most perfect. However, if your friend is looking to buy a tuna like the one Kiyoshi Kimura bought for $600,000, you’ll need to head to the auction.”

I let the French restaurant owner know what the man said just as his assistant walked up. “Aha! An Auction, perfect! And my assistant can record it for all our followers on social media. They can then be assured they are eating the best tuna currently on Earth. Thank you so much for your help, but my assistant speaks Japanese and we can take it from here!” and the two ran off to the big fish auction.

Sushi in Japan

PC Joey Rozier

After eating my fill of sushi, I headed to Tokyo to check out the sights.  As I was getting on the train I saw two businessmen looking down at the train tracks and trying to discuss them. I hopped in and offered to help their conversation go more smoothly. They nodded and thanked me.

“You see, our trains here “float” using magnetism and can travel at up to 300 mph. The engineering behind it is a great pride here in Japan.”

I turned to look at the American businessman and translated. “300 mph sure is fast! And with the average delay of 30 seconds, can you imagine how that would change cities in America?” the man smiled and I helped them finish their business meeting. After we wrapped up, the Japanese businessman asked me how my trip was going. “Great!” I responded. “Although I’ve only just begun. I just came from the famous fish market in Tsukiji and had the most amazing sushi. “

Tokyo train station

PC Tokyoform

He bought me a coffee and said, “You know, Japanese love coffee. We love it a lot! We buy up 85% of Jamaica’s coffee export actually. I’m glad to see we have an export you love as much as we love coffee.”

“Yes the fish is amazing. But so is your engineering and robotics. The vending machines that sell everything are crazy to me too! There is so much to explore here”

The man smiled. Why don’t you come into Tokyo with me and then I can show you Kyoto as well. You can help me translate my international business meetings via phone and in person and I’ll show you the sights! Also my brother works in anime and it’s catching on globally. Maybe you can help him negotiate some contracts with international translators to help him dub his shows for large foreign networks? Just a thought!”

Large robot in Japan

PC Suichi Aizawa

I gladly accepted, eager to see more culture and to help translate with people from all over the Earth, interested in Japan’s exports. Especially anime! Next time I check in I’ll report all about it! Until then, you know where to find me if you need any translation or interpretation!


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