Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo

Apr 24th, 2009 | By | Category: Food

Tsukiji Wholesale Fish Market in Tokyo is the biggest of the kind in Japan at an awe inspiring scale: over 54 billion yen in total sales in December 2008, that’s about $22 million US per day or 3,000 tuna!

No one can question the popularity of this massive market, it is the #1 tourist destination in Tokyo and allows visitors to watch the movement of what disappears into the stomachs of this fish loving nation.  But it is not the most relaxing place to visit, especially if you are not prepared.

Tsukiji Fish Market Tokyo Tuna

Tsukiji Fish Market Dawn TokyoTo shift that much seafood a day, the market attracts about 35,000 buyers along with countless individual shoppers and many tourists who arrive as early as 5AM.

Visitors should keep in mind that the market a bustling and crowded place of business and should take this into consideration when planning a visit.

Familiarize yourself with the rules of Tsukiji Fish Market before you go as having that many people and countless vehicles ranging from bicycles, carts and motorcycles to giant Segway-like motorized vehicles, all going in thousands of directions, makes the place potentially hazardous for anyone.   Also, keep in mind that to prevent accidents, the market sometimes restricts the size of visiting groups or bans tourists from entering certain areas.

Sushi restaurants are plentiful in the area around the market but often times the lines are long and you are forced to go in search of morning eats at Tsukiji.  With a few exceptions the shops and businesses around the market are usually closed by mid afternoon.

Tsukiji Fish Market Traffic Tokyo

Tsukiji Fish Market is a short walk from the Tsukiji Station on Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line or right at the Tsukiji Shijo Station on Oedo Line.

Luckily, Tsukiji is not the only seafood market you can visit in Japan. There are over 900 local fish markets around Japan in all sizes and in various formats – from strictly wholesale to combined wholesale-retail and even cooperative fish markets.

Next week, I will tell you about some local fish markets in other parts of Japan that are fun to visit.

In the meantime, check out my Tsukiji photos on Flickr and visit me at Tokyofoodcast to follow my foodie adventures in Japan and learn more about Japanese food and food culture.

Images used with permission of Tokyofoodcast

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  1. Please do not kiss the fish.

  2. Sashimi is good but kissing a frozen fish is never a great idea - you might get stuck to it! Good advice though and it had me chuckling…

  3. i wonder if I will ever be able to visit this place

    must be quite the experience

  4. I hope you will! Or, visit many other fish market across Japan! Stay tuned for next week!

  5. […] I was working on a post about Tsukiji for Nihon Sun, I got really curious about how much seafood moves through that giant market each […]

  6. […] 30, 2009 · No Comments Great post on the Nihon Sun site, with a number of useful links, giving the lowdown on visiting the Tsukiji fish […]

  7. […] Aritsugu To be honest, I thought the Aritsugu knife shop in Tsukiji was the same as the famous Aritsugu in Kyoto. I have always dreamed about getting a Aritsugu […]

  8. […] at a sushi bar blocks from the Tsukiji Wholesale fish market in Tokyo.   The temaki (hand rolls) pictured below are natto (fermented soy beans) with shiso […]

  9. […] a visit to the Tsukiji Wholesale Fish Market be on your list of things to see in Tokyo?  You need to decide for yourself but if you do go […]

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