You can’t visit Tokyo without checking out the most famous fish market in the world.
Seafood caught from all over the world is shipped here–over 2000 tons of seafood move through the market. Tuna, in particular, is auctioned to the highest bidder every single day. A limited amount of spectator passes (120 a day) are awarded to dedicated tourists who line up as early as 3 AM to be allowed in for the 5 AM auction.
We were not dedicated tourists nor early risers, so we arrived at Tsukiji well past the auction. However, we still enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the market. Vendors sold all kinds of items: fish, raw seafood, dried seafood, sweets, even home goods. Every other shop is a restaurant or some kind of food stall, so there is plenty to sample. Come hungry!
It’s hard to choose a place to dine, but go with whatever strikes your fancy. We found a small restaurant tucked back behind the main streets. Here, we ordered donburi (a rice bowl with sashimi, raw sliced seafood, on top) and fish noodle soup. Prices ranged from as low as 500 JPY (about 5 USD) to as high as 2000 JPY (20 USD) depending on what you wanted. The seafood was fresh and delicious!
Everyone always says it’s so expensive in Japan, which might be true for other things–but it’s possible to dine well for not a lot of money.
Tsukiji Market starts shutting down close to noon, so definitely get there in the morning, even if you don’t feel the need to see the tuna auction.
Also, the market is moving to a larger location in the Toyosu district south of its current spot in Chuo. This is partly due to the 2020 Olympics, and partly because the current market, opened in 1935, is no longer able to handle the amount of business and tourist activity it attracts.
I’m glad we got to visit the market before the move, and I’m looking forward to seeing the new market! If you get the chance to check out the new site after the move in November, I’d love to hear your experience!
Have you gone to Tsukiji Market? What’s your favorite thing about it?