Visiting Japan very soon? I could suggest you a top tourist attraction of Tokyo. However, have you ever imagined that a normal fish market that smells too fishy for you could turn to a popular tourist spot? You better think of your local fish market now, is it popular or not?

The real example of this is the Tsukiji fish market, located near the Tsukiji Shijou Station in Tokyo. No one has believed that this Japanese largest fish market was going to be one of the best tourist destinations in Tokyo. As it is a must see place in Tokyo city, you better get prepared for enjoying this trip.

Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo
Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo. Photo credit: sprklg at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

Tokyo is a place of wonderland. There is a numbers of things to do for you from visiting historical places to Disneyland. I myself have not paid much attention to Tokyo Disneyland rather I have been to Tokyo many times for viewing autumn foliage and cherry blossoms (sakura). It is obvious that you would surly enjoy walking along the Sensō-ji temple’s ground but I can’t assure you that you would like roaming around this fish market. Maybe I am kidding here, so why don’t you take a visit to this fish market after reading few travel tips here?

Read A Bit of Its Hisotry

Octopus in Tsukiji Fish Market
Octopus are sold in Tsukiji Fish Market. Photo credit: Rory Hyde at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing

This biggest fish market was established by Tokugawa Lesyasu during the Edo period in order to provide food for Edo Castle (Current Tokyo). In the late 19th century, Tsukiji fish market has become a must see place to visit. This is the world’s largest fish and seafood market you would ever find on our beautiful planet. Many people say your visit to Tokyo would be incomplete if you don’t visit this remarkable fish market.

It is crowded with many buyers, sellers and curious tourists. Approximately 2,000 tons of marine products are exchanged per day between sellers and buyers. Various kinds of fishes are brought to this place in order to sell them at a reasonable price.

There are Two Sections

Tsukiji Fish Market in Japan
Various Kinds of Fishes You Could See. Photo credit: sprklg at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing

The whole market can be categorized into two sections, one is called inner market (Jonai Shijo) and other one is called outer market (Jogai Shijo). The inner market is the licensed wholesale market where tuna auction and other fish processing task take place.

The outer market consists of various wholesale and retail shops that usually sell Japanese kitchen accessories such as knife, vegetables slicer and etc. and seafood including sushi restaurants.

The Tuna Auction

Tsukiji Fish Market Tuna Auction
Tsukiji Fish Market Tuna Auction. Photo credit: Steve Cadman at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing

There is a big event that every tourist enjoys participating in it. It is called Tuna Auction. To enjoy the tuna auction I want you to read this article. It starts exactly at 5:00AM and sometimes even early. Do you want to catch this tuna auction? If so then you have to arrive here at 4:00AM to see the live tuna auction, indeed it is very early in the morning.

You have to dedicate your time; otherwise you are going to miss it. I suggest you to stay a night at Millennium Mitsui Garden Hotel in Tokyo that is very close to Tuskiji fish market, only 0.6 km away from it. Make a reservation here so that you could arrive here on time.

The Reason Why you Must Get there Early….

Sushi Restaurant in Tsukiji Fish Market
Sushi Restaurant in Tsukiji Fish Market. Photo credit: audrey_sel at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing

is you have to go through a registration procedure that starts from 4:30AM at the fish information centre inside the Kachidoki Gate, remember it will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Without this registration process you are not allowed to attend on the live tuna auction.

Only 120 visitors can participate in the tuna auction and it is limited. They are split up into two groups; each group consists of 60 persons. The first group will be admitted to the auction between 5:25 and 5:50. On the other hand the second group is allowed to admit between 5:50 and 6:15AM.

Buy and Eat Fresh Sushi

A Sushi Bar At Tsukiji Fish Market. Photo Credit: Wally Gobetz at Flickr.

Except participating in this auction you can visit the wholesale area where sellers usually sell fishes, vegetables, flowers and meat. Take your camera with you and start capturing small to giant fishes you see. Your visit to Tsukiji is incomplete if you don’t eat sushi there as breakfast. Many sushi restaurants welcome you to serve their delicious sushi recipes but you have to find the best ones!

Once we had visited the whole market area to explore its hidden things, it was a large area that made us to be so hungry and eventually we found sushi restaurants there! We got inside one of those sushi restaurants and ordered sushi, it was a memorable breakfast ever I had in my life.

How to Get There?

At Tsukiji Station. Photo Credit: 8#X at Flickr

It is a common question you have in your mind. The place can be accessed easily from any corner of Tokyo city though if your intention is to see the fish auction then you better stay the night in nearby hotels in Tsukiji. If you do so you even don’t need to think of any Train Station, you could reach there on foot. If you are coming by Taxi then stop at the Tsukiji 4 Chome Crossing.

It is only five minute walk from Tsukiji Station on the Hibiya Subway Line and 15 minute walk from Shimbashi station. The fish market can be reached from both Tokyo and Shinjuku Station.

Tokyo Station > Marunouchi Subway Line (Tokyo to Ginza) > Hibiya Subway Line > Tsukiji Station.

Shinjuku Station > Oedo Subway Line > Shinjuku Station Tsukiji Shijo Station.

You could find more information about its address and map visiting Tuskiji market official website here. The fish market has become one of the top tourist spots in Tokyo city. You have been informed all about this place, therefore take a tour to this fish market and explore something different and unique things. I wish you have a good trip to Tsukiji Fish Market.