Tsukiji Fish Market

fish market by amanda martinGoing to the Tsukiji fish market, the largest in the world, makes for a fun morning adventure in downtown Tokyo. It is a working market, with vendors cleaning and processing a large variety of seafood and packaging it for shipment. There is everything from giant fish to barrels of squirmy eels. It is probably best for older kids and adults as there were hazards galore – vats of slimy sea-life and knives within reach as well as speeding carts – which made me fearful for my 3-year-old. No strollers are allowed. Expect your shoes to get a bit grimy.  When you enter the market the first section of stalls house vegetables and dry goods for sale. Cross the parking lot and enter the seafood market. The place is huge and wandering the stalls is a lot of fun. You do see some Japanese making dinner purchases. A small number of passes are available to watch the auction each morning at 5:15am and 5:50am. To just see the market the gates open at 9am and the market stays open until 1pm. Closed on holidays.

Note:  Tuna auction registration is on a first-come, first-served basis up to a maximum of 120 people. It was reported that the registration for visitors was between 2:15 am-3:00 am on October 22nd 2016. I found an article mentioning that visitors need to be there by 2:00 am to secure their spots. Tuna auction registration starts at 5 am according to the website; however, registration could start earlier if they have enough people lined up. If you have any information, please let us know! ( Photo by Bryson Spangler, October 2016)

Erin Allen Fish MarketDIRECTIONS: From the New Sanno take the Hibiya line to Tsukiji. Follow the crowds downhill toward the market. Entrance is free and you will be given a small map to guide you. After visiting the market, I suggest you walk up Showa-Dori street to see a Kabuki theater (tickets are available for single act shows), and then another few blocks to Ginza for upscale shopping and great people watching. – Amanda Martin, June 2013, second photo by Erin Allen, May 2014.

One Response to Tsukiji Fish Market

  1. We visited the Tsukiji tuna auction and then the Tsukiji fish market on a Saturday. We took a taxi from the New Sanno Hotel, at 3am, and arrived in time to get one of the 120 spots available for the tuna auction (sign up office N35.66330 E139.77359). By ~4am, the spots were all taken for the 2 groups of 60. I’m unsure, whether the auction fills up this quickly every Saturday or on the weekdays either.

    After waiting in a room, our group was ushered into the auction warehouse at 5:25am. Unfortunately, I didn’t think the 20-minute auction was worth the early wake-up call. There was no guide explaining the auction so we just stared blankly at the rows of frozen tuna, the buyers and auctioneers – as per the picture above.

    At 6am, we tried to dine at one of the renowned sushi restaurants, “Sushidai”, next to Tsjukiji fish market, but there was already a 3-hour wait so we made our way to another popular sushi restaurant, “Sushizanmai Honten”, which we enjoyed. Many of the restaurants, around the fish market, open very early. Here’s a link with some of the most popular restaurants and their directions, http://www.picrumb.com/best-restaurants/tsukiji/

    After breakfast, we took a stroll around the adjacent fruit and vegetable market and then, at 9am, the Tsukiji Fish market opened so we visited that huge warehouse. This was a lot more interesting. I would definitely take their advice and not take small children, strollers, bulky luggage and/or sandals. The market has a lot of narrow passages with quick vehicles going in all directions.

    Here’s an English guide to the Tsukiji fish market, http://www.shijou.metro.tokyo.jp/english/market/tsukiji.html

    The market is closed most holidays and Sundays, as well as some Wednesdays. Please see this link for more details for the 2014 calendar year, http://www.tsukiji-market.or.jp/etc/calendar/2014.html or http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ja&u=http://www.tsukiji-market.or.jp/etc/calendar/2014.html&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dhttp://www.tsukiji-market.or.jp/etc/calendar/2014.html%26hl%3Den%26biw%3D1346%26bih%3D1220

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