Tsukiji market in Tokyo, which brows two thousand tons of fish every day, is ruled by a number of codes in order not to interfere with merchants and professional customers in a hurry, at the point that it was closed to visitors for some time. Before moving to Toyosu (1.4 mile away) in October 2018, I wanted to enjoy a visit to the largest fish market in the world.
Tsukuji market can be divided into three main areas:
- the tuna auction, star of the show with its crazy prices;
- the covered market, dedicated to fish of all kinds, whose sale is restricted to professionals;
- the outer part, quieter and dedicated to condiments, accessories and restaurants.
Unfortunately, we weren't been able to access the auction, which takes place between 5:25 and 6:15 AM. With only a hundred and twenty guests are eligible per day (divided in two groups), the first subway arrives too late. You'll have to either take a taxi or wait several hours on site at night, after the last train around midnight.
As for us, the discovery began with the internal market and its dozens of different fish, for some of them quite fantastic and original. For those of you who are worried about the smell of raw fish, it's far from unbearable even that early!
If you want to get there on your own, note that it has to be from 9AM. It's also prohibited to:
- come in high heels or sandals
- have luggage or wear big bags
- come with small children or animals
- block the movement of professionals
- and of course touch anything.
Upon leaving, the tour continues with the external market and its countless shops open to the public. It's possible to eat in one of the sushi restaurants to taste the freshest fish at breakfast!
How to get to Tsukiji fish market
By subway -- Tokyo Metro:
- Oedo line: TsukijiShijo station (E18) and 2 minute walk
- Hibiya Line: Tsukiji station (H10) and 5 minute walk
By train -- JR Yamanote Line, Shinbashi station and 15 minute walk
Location reachable with the JRP : order your Japan Rail Pass (from ~US$ 265)
Covered market open to visitors daily from 9am to around 2pm (forbidden to visitors before 9am!)
Outdoor market accessible from 5am
Auctions on presentation daily from 5:25 to 6:15am
- on Sundays and some Wednesdays
- auction inaccessible to visitors between December 1 and January 19
How long / when to visit
Allow one to four hours on site, according to the visits
Feasible in any season
築地市場 (Tsukiji Ichiba)
The market is moving to Toyosu (scheduled for October 11, 2018)
Tsukiji Market closed to tourists from September 29, 2018 and tuna auctions from September 15, 2018