Tsukiji Fish Market
5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo, Tokyo 104-0045, JapanGetting there
Tsukiji Market is just above Tsukiji Shijo Station on the Oedo Subway Line. Alternatively, it can be reached in a five minute walk from Tsukiji Station on the Hibiya Subway Line. The closest JR station is Shimbashi, from where you can walk to the market in about 15 minutes.
From Tokyo Station
Take the Marunouchi Subway Line from Tokyo to Ginza (3 minutes) and transfer to the Hibiya Subway Line to get to Tsukiji Station (3 minutes). The fare is 170 yen.
From Shinjuku Station
Take the Oedo Subway Line directly from Shinjuku Station to Tsukiji Shijo Station. The one way trip takes 20 minutes and costs 260 yen.Telephone
+81 3-3542-1111More information Prices
Outer Market: varies by shop, typically 5:00 to 14:00. Wholesale Area: open to visitors after 9:00am. Tuna Auction: open to visitors from 5:25am to 6:15am (restricted to 120 visitors/day)
Sundays, national holidays and some Wednesdays (see "English Links" below). The tuna auction gets closed to tourists for a few weeks over New Year (usually from early December to mid January; December 1, 2014 to January 17, 2015) to ensure a smooth and accident free course of business during that busy time of the year.
Tsukiji Market (築地市場, Tsukiji Shijō) is a large wholesale market for fish, fruits and vegetables in central Tokyo. It is the most famous of over ten wholesale markets that handle the distribution of fish, meat, produce and flowers in Tokyo. Tsukiji Market is best known as one of the world's largest fish markets, handling over 2,000 tons of marine products per day. It is scheduled to move to a new site in Toyosu in November 2016.
The sight of the many kinds of fresh fish and other seafood and the busy atmosphere of scooters, trucks, sellers and buyers hurrying around, make Tsukiji Market a major tourist attractions. In fact, the numbers of visitors have increased so much over recent years, that they have become a problem to the course of business, as the aging market's infrastructure was not anticipated to serve as a tourist spot.
While actually not exclusively a fish market (Tsukiji also deals in fruit, vegetables and meat) it is most famous for its fish.
Tsukiji is the largest fish market in the world and an estimated 17% of the world's total fish catch passes through its gates. The frantic action at Tsukiji Fish Market begins around 5am and is winding down by mid morning.
Tsukiji Fish Market, where the famous early morning (5.30-6.00am) fish auction takes place, is 300m south-west of the Tsukiji 6-chome intersection on Harumi-dori avenue.
Namiyoke Inari Jinja Shrine
Look for the Namiyoke Inari Jinja Shrine, a Shinto shrine built in 1659 to protect workers from rough seas during the reclamation project that created the Tsukiji area. The Shrine is at the entrance to the market.
The streets around Tsukiji Fish Market teem with small trucks and especially turret trucks rapidly carrying produce to and fro - requiring visitors to be very watchful.
Tsukiji tuna auction
The tuna auction at Tsukiji Fish Market, which starts at 5.30am, is the main attraction for curious onlookers. The auction at Tsukiji Fish Market can be watched - and, more to the point, listened to - from the sidelines. It is a seeming cacophony of shouts and cries, amidst which men with picks bend over huge frozen tuna inspecting them for their quality. (See video below.) No flash photography!
Tsukiji open days
Tsukiji Market itself is not open every day. A list of holidays is available on the Tsukiji Market website (click on the 'Tsukiji Market Calendar' - the dates marked in red are no go) and an English guidesheet and map are also available at the market's information booth.
Adjacent to the auction area is a building full of tiny wholesale stores - more like booths - selling the freshest marine produce.
The retail side of Tsukiji on the outskirts of the market extends to the block on the other side of Harumi-dori which is also full of restaurants and stores where you can sample some of the freshest sushi available anywhere in Japan, buy produce in retail quantities, purchase culinary implements, especially knives, and get souvenirs of the market, too.
However, whether the market is open or not, Tsukiji is always buzzing with energy. The crazy maze of street stalls and restaurants is anxious to feed you its freshest and finest. Opening hours are typically from 5am to noon or mid-afternoon.
Tsukiji Market consists of an inner market where most of the wholesale business and the famous tuna auctions are taking place, and an outer market whose retail shops and restaurants carter to the public. A few restaurants are also found in the inner market. In order to avoid interference with business, different rules should be followed when visiting the different areas of the market:
Visiting the tuna auction
The number of visitors to the tuna auction is limited to 120 per day, the maximum number which the market's infrastructure can accommodate. Tourists, who wish to see the auction, have to apply at the Osakana Fukyu Center (Fish Information Center) at the Kachidoki Gate, starting from 5:00am on a first-come, first-serve basis (may start earlier on busy days). A first group of 60 visitors will be admitted to the auction between 5:25 and 5:50, while a second group of 60 visitors will be admitted between 5:50 and 6:15.
On busy days, visitors start lining up long before 5am, and the maximum number is likely to be exceeded, in which case later arriving visitors will not be able to see the auction. Successful applicants will be able to view the auction from a designated visitor area. It is not allowed to view the auction from anywhere else or to use flash photography or to interfere with the business action in any other way.
Visiting the wholesale area
The wholesale area consists of hundreds of small stands in a large, crowded hall, where buyers and sellers hurry along narrow lanes with their carts and trucks. It is an exciting area for tourists to view and photograph the fish and the action, but it is also an area where tourists are likely to interfere with the professionals at work.
Consequently, in order to prevent accidents and interference with business, tourists are not allowed into the wholesale area before 9am, when the peak of the business activities take place. Even when visiting after 9am, tourists are asked to refrain from bringing any luggage into the market and to be constantly alert of what is happening around them to avoid blocking traffic.
Visiting other areas of the market
Instead of visiting the inner market, tourists are encouraged to visit Tsukiji's outer market, which is located just adjacent to the inner market and caters to the public. The outer market consists of a few blocks of small retail shops and restaurants crowded along narrow lanes. Here you can find all sorts of food related goods, knives and fresh seafood and produce for sale in smaller (than wholesale) portions.
A visit to Tsukiji Market is best combined with a fresh sushi breakfast or lunch at one of the local restaurants. There are restaurants both in the inner and outer market area, which are typically open from 5:00 in the morning to around noon or early afternoon.
A few more general rules for visiting Tsukiji Market
Since Tsukiji Market is a site where serious business is conducted, it is important for visitors not to interfere with the action by adhering to the following additional rules:
- Do not enter areas restricted to authorized personnel!
- Do not obstruct traffic!
- Do not bring large bags or suitcases into the market!
- Do not enter the market in high heeled shoes or sandals!
- Do not bring small children or pets!
- Do not smoke in the market!
- Do not touch anything!
Reviews by visitors
Avoid the lunch crowd!!! If you want to go to the eatery you want, go for brunch as everyone will be going to the same place you want to go. Other than the fish market, there are lots of eateries nearby that are just as good and not as crowded. Food is as fresh as can be. Some of Tokyo's best "street food" is here.
Seeing a long line of dolphin sized tuna being inspected by the local wholesalers after which they are auctioned is a great way to experience something special. we were there on a Thursday morning at 2:15 am, and we were number 30/120. At 3:00 am all 120 spots were given away. As the tour starts at 5:20, it is quite a long wait. Bring a pillow to sit on as it is inside!
We got to Tsukiji Fish Market at about 6am. It's only a short walk from the station and not difficult to find. However, it is a vast area and not easy to find the auction location. We didn't get to see the auction at the end but had a great time walking around the area. Watch out for the forklifts and delivery carts. Many shops and restaurants open for business very early. We join the queue and had sushi for breakfast at Daiwo, one of many traditional sushi restaurants near the market
You need to go at 2am if you want to visit the main market, but my suggestion would be to go to the outer market for about 8am.
The stalls are great and you see such a variety that its brilliant. They are all selling the fish they have been to the main market for,
You can spend an hour just to see round all the streets, and there are some great souvenirs to be had.
We skipped the morning auction, but still enjoyed the market! There is so much to see, so much to taste, it is a fantastic way to spend your morning! ... And it's free!
It really was worth it taking the taxi and getting there by 3:30 to see the auction. We got there at 3:45. By 3:55, all the spots were taken. Best to get there by 3:00 to guarantee a spot. Be careful AFTER the auction so you do not get run over by the guys driving the electric delivery cars.
The only downside is how short the tour is. From start to finish, it is less than 30 minutes.
It is possibly the biggest fish market in the world. While the market itself may be boring, the shops within the market and outside the market are fantastic. There were several sushi and sashimi restaurants inside the market but the lines were terribly long as early as 10 in the morning. If you walk to the farthest section of the market you will see some stalls that sell the same fresh sashimi for possibly a fraction of the cost. Don't expect tables as we were eating sashimi standing in front of some crates. You could talk the vendors to serve you other raw delicacies. That's an adventure!
You can get a lot of souvenirs in and around the market. There are more food stall outside the market so be adventurous.
Unfortunately we had limited time to visit the market and so missed the early morning tuna auction. We got to the outer and inner market around 10am at which time the outer market was full on, but the inner wholesale fish market was wrapping up. But we still had a ball wondering around especially the inner fish market seeing all the amazing seafood, dead or alive (yuck!), with some things that we did not even know what it was. Fascinating place. Be warned, wear good shoes as there is a lot of water, ice and blood around the floors and make all attempts not to disrupt the actually commercial activity going on, or to get run over by the fast speed electric carts that go whizzing around! Great for photography and bustling activity. There are quite a few cafes and restaurants there that you can sample the local delicacies especially the sushi, of course.
Best sushi in town ! Had the best o-toro sashimi and excellent ikura ! Some excellent fresh Mochi ! great place to walk around and get small eats like squid , fried fish balls , chicken yakitori , fresh scallops in the shell !
Come here from 9am prompt and get to witness the fish market in action, DO NOT come anytime beforehand as they will not allow tourists in. It's just a good place to roam and people watch and also to grab food from. The area is surrounded by sushi houses, food stalls, green tea etc, it's like browsing Borough Market in London, people come here to sample and taste food.
Another must for any traveler in Tokyo. The live auctions start at 5 am so get there early so get a ticket. Don't miss the street food.
Things have changed over the years. It is no longer easy to waltz in and watch the tuna and the preparation for the auction.
I believe that looking at the other stalls and other fish products and catches in the area where it's very narrow and very busy….Is the better place to enjoy. You don't need to sign up to attend this place. However because things have changed, you probably should arrange for an official Guide to allow you access to this area. The Guide will also arrange for you to enjoy the preparation of the tuna. The auction itself.....I don't believe is nearly as interesting as the rest of the fish market.
Get there EARLY! About 330am!
or continuing the party in Tsukiji. This fish market is a must see before they move it out of Tokyo at the end of 2016. theres an auction every morning at 0515. you need to be there at about 3 am to be one of 120 people allowed in every day.
This place is definitely a must to visit and the current location makes it easier for access. Food is very fresh specifically the sashimi. There is a wide variety of food and restaurants from you to choose from. Pricing varies from restaurants to restaurants. I have visited this place 2 days in a row and it is definitely a great place to spend either on a sat or sun morning.
First things first, you have to get up very early for this if you are going to the tuna auction. We arrived at quarter to four in the morning and got the last admission tickets to see it (a lot of people showed up afterward disappointed!). You then have to wait till either 05:30 or 06:00 (there are two tours) before entering the market. There is no opportunity to buy food at this time, though there is a drink vending machine, so maybe bring something to eat with you and maybe a book to read.
When you are brought into the market you see the tuna laid out and its very interesting to observe the bidders testing each of the tuna for their quality, using torches to ascertain perhaps their fat content etc. The auction itself is also pretty good to watch, the sellers are animated and shouting away, good fun. You are then brought through the market to exit and while doing this walk you'll see teams of men methodically cutting up large fish and others throwing tuna through buzz saws whilst trying to avoid the hundreds of small yellow vehicles carrying fish that are whizzing by you.
There are nice such restaurants in a lane inside the market (think it was Lane 4). There were queues for two in particular that people seemed to be waiting in for hours but we just went into one of the other ones and the food was great (we had done enough waiting around!). Its definitely a unique experience but you'd want to be sure its something you want to do as its a bit of an effort!
This place is a must-see in Tokyo... We super duper loved this place.. we tried the grilled unagi and scallops on bbq sticks. We also ate sashimi with rice in one of the restaurants. It's a good place to just walk around, albeit very crowded during lunchtime.
It’s one of the most exciting markets in the world, whether you arrive early in the morning for the tuna auctions (5.30 am), or later in the morning for a look around and a sushi breakfast.
Tsukiji Market, is an amazing place if you’re a foodie, love markets, are a photographer or simply enjoy visiting unique places.
Did a tour with Japan Wonder Travel of the fish markets and thought is was worth every yen! This place is truly incredible and the variety of fish is an education to anyone with an interest in eating! The tuna in particular is just incredible, this is a culture that LOVES its tuna (70% of the worlds tuna is eaten here!) so the variety and processing of it for sushi and sashimi is a sight to behold. A MUST SEE!
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