Today I went to teach business english at a company situated very near to the legendary fish market: Tsukiji （築地）.
Some of you may know this about me already: I used to be a sushi chef in my early twenties.
I worked at some top restaurants including Nobu (a partnership between Robert De Niro and Nobu Matsuhisa. The sushi there was fantastic but nowhere near as good as in Japan. I always wondered why.
Then I thought of Tsukiji.
Tsukiji has heritage and tradition. Those sushi chefs that wake up at the crack of dawn （夜明け）then bid only for the finest fish have the most discerning eyes（鑑識眼）and can distinguish just by looking and touching which of the catch（魚）are fit for raw consumption and those that are destined for the fryer.
You see, when you have a holistic supply chain of specialists, the end consumer benefits from the aggregation of all that expertise.
In plain English: When everyone involved in the sushi business, from the fishermen to wholesalers to the chefs are committed to delivering the best product, the customer is able to enjoy the best the ocean has to offer.
And that’s what’s lacking in the sushi you find in America or Europe. Without that supply chain infrastructure, without a Tsukiji, there just isn’t enough quality control. Therefore, the fish that ends up in your mouth is not the best nature has to offer.
So, I have no problem with paying a bit more than what I would for a コンビニ弁当 for top, top quality fish, straight from the best fish market in the world.