- Location: At Tsukiji in central Tokyo
- Attraction Type: Market
- Significance: The largest wholesale fish market in Japan and as well as in the world
- Best Time to Visit: The market remains closed on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month, and also on Sundays and Holidays. The best time to visit is between 5:30am to 8.30am.
- How to Reach: Taxis are almost the only transportation available at the early hour. However, for other times, you can reach Tsukiji Market by the Marunouchi Subway Line from Tokyo to Ginza and transfer to the Hibiya Subway Line to get to Tsukiji Station. Or take the Oedo Subway Line directly from Shinjuku Station to Tsukijishijo Station.
- Nearest Airport: Narita International Airport
Tsukiji Fish Market is one of the largest and best known food markets handling the distribution of fishes, fruits, vegetables, meat and flowers for metropolitan Tokyo. As the name suggests, it takes pride in being the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market. It is the accumulation of different sorts of fresh fish, shellfish and other seafood that have made Tsukiji Market one of major tourist attractions of Tokyo.
The activities in this market start around 3 O’ Clock in the morning. Ferries keep arriving from the seas around Japan, Africa, and America, with sufficient fish to fulfil the demands of a nation where seafood is the staple food. Tsukiji fish market handles almost all kinds of seafood. Approximately 450 types of seafood which measures up to 2,000 tons of marine products per day can be found here. However, the fish that rules here is tuna. The huge and frozen tuna are unloaded from the docks, which are then laid out on the ground and then numbered.
After gathering all the fishes, the auction of sea products begins from about 4:30 am and contiues till 6:30 am. On the other hand, the auctions of vegetables at a corner of the market starts at 6:30am. Once the auction is all over, the wholesalers then transfer what they have bought to their own stalls in the market. Later they sell the fishes and vegetables to their regular customers, mostly retail stores and restaurants.
Things to Do in Tsukiji Fish Market
First and foremost, it will be a unique experience to see a busy, popular and hustling market place with hundreds of fresh fish. Along with fishes, you will also see all types of vegetables and fruits. The prominent tuna auctions in the early morning is the main attraction for visitors. However, you will see much more here — be it tiny sardines or about 300 kg tuna, be it cheap seaweed or the costly caviar.
The market is sheltered and shaded. You can walk through the aisles and find things that you have never thought could ever be edible.
While visiting Tsukiji, don’t forget to taste sushi in your breakfast or lunch. Alongside the fish market, Tsukiji has also got a number of sushi restaurants and shops which attract a good number of visitors. As you walk the distance between the Tsukiji subway station and the famous fish market, you will also find several tiny retail shops and stalls selling fresh seafood in town, dried fish and fish products, seaweed, vegetables, knives and other cooking utensils.
Check out the Tsukiji Fish Information & Museum. This museum is dedicated to the subject of fish, and is located within the Tsukiji Fish Market (Tokyo Central Wholesale Market). Do not forget to visit Tsukiji Honganji Temple. The temple building features an exotic stone construction in ancient Indian style.
Accommodation and dining near Tsukiji Fish Market
You have plenty of accommodation facilities near the Tsukiji Fish Market. Some of the hotels are Royal Park Shiodome Tower, Conrad Tokyo, Park Hotel, Hotel Monterey Ginza, Ginza Capital Hotel, Ginza Nikko Hotel, Yaesu Fujiya Hotel etc.
Dining in Tokyo is surely a pleasant experience. Try out the Tsukiji Sushi-Iwa Restaurant for mouth-watering delicacies. Sashimi and Yakizakana are popular Seafood dishes here.
Points to be kept on mind while visiting Tsukiji Fish Market are:
- Do not touch the fish.
- Do not carry large bags or suitcases into the market.
- Refrain from taking flash photographs during the tuna auction.
- Avoid smoking in the market.