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Fresh Fish for Breakfast Anyone? – Tsukiji Fish Market Tokyo
Looking for a morning tour while in Tokyo? If so, Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo will certainly get your morning occupied.
You can make your visit to Tsukiji fish market as early as 5 a.m in the morning and see all kinds and variety if fishes, including the King, which is tuna fish being unloaded from the docks, laid on the ground in in a hangar-like building and numbered. It is said that there is about 450 kinds of seafood available here. Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo is a huge wholesale fish market, the largest in Japan and one of the largest in the world that handles at an average 2,000 tons of sea products every day! Making it a must for visitors to visit, and especially for those who are not quite acquainted to see such a market in action. If you want to get some fresh material to cook on your own in your dorm, it is certainly the place to be and you will see all kind of seafood you’ve never imagined edible.
Tsukiji Market in Action
The action here starts earlier than 5a.m. at about 3 a.m, fishing boats start arriving from the seas around Japan, from Africa and even from America. Most are high-tech fishing boats that brought enough fish of all kinds to satisfy the demand of a nation where seafood reigns supreme over all other food resources. Tsukiji Fish Market is more than just a really big fish market; it is a place that can give you a memorable experience.
Walking around in the market, which is held in a cavernous, hangarlike building, you will see a lot of things going on. You will see fish being dismembered, sawed up into sales manageable portions, knives chopping and slicing, men in black boots running and rushing wheelbarrows and carts to their intended destinations through the wet aisles and hawkers shouting. Just be sure to make sure you won’t get in the way and avoid being run over by the little transport carts.
If you’re looking for exceptionally fresh sushi and sashimi, Tsukiji Fish Market is the place for you. Alongside the covered market are rows of barracks-like buildings divided into sushi restaurants and shops related to the fish trade. Most of the restaurants open from 5 o’clock in the morning and close around 12.00 to 3.00 pm. Here I include two recommendation of restaurant choice for you, which is categorized base on your food budget for value in a day.
Expensive choice: KIRAKU SUSHI RESTAURANT
Price range for lunch is from ¥3,000 ~¥3,999 and dinner is exceptionally expensive with a budget around ¥10,000 ~¥14,999. But good thing about this restaurant is that it accepts Credit Cards (VISA/MASTERCARD/DINER/AMEX). However, it is best that you make prior reservation before coming to dine. It has a very exclusive atmosphere yet retained the Japanese traditional dining aspects.
Address: Maekawa Building 1F, 3-10-4 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Business hour: 11:30 ~21: 00
Closed on national and fixed holidays as well as Sunday
Inexpensive choice: SUSHI DAI RESTAURANT
Price range for lunch is from ¥3,000 ~¥3,999. There are also ala carte menu with price ranging from ¥220 to ¥1000. Cash only and there is no private room or reservation service. The shop is rather small and can only occupy about 12-13 people at one time around the kaiten (Meaning the serving belt which you will usually see in a sushi restaurants). Customers are prohibited from smoking inside the restaurant.
Address: Building 6, 3rd Alley at Tsukiji Fish Market, 5-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Business hour: 5:00 ~14: 00
Closed on National and Fixed holiday, and Wednesday if the Market is closed
Home page http://www.tsukijigourmet.or.jp/22_sushidai/index.htm (it’s in Japanese though)
Another option is that you can head into the outer market and get something cheaper. You’ll find yourself in a delightful district of tiny retail shops and stalls where you can buy the freshest seafood in town, plus dried fish and fish products, seaweed, vegetables, knives and other cooking utensils. The outer market is known as Jogai and is where the Tokyoites shops for special occasion, however before, it is been told that as of late, there are pickpockets have been at work here especially on unsuspecting tourists.
Tuna Auction at Tsukiji Fish Market
The most famous event being held here is the Tuna auction. The Japanese love eating tuna (if you’re familiar enough, you’ve probably heard of ‘Ootoro‘), and the best looking tuna, the most fresh is often bought by wholesalers through proper bidding only to be sold again in their own stalls in the market. Even expensive restaurant owners bought their materials from this fish market too, and through the tuna auction. However, the tuna auction will usually be closed around the busiest time of the year at Tsukiji Fish Market, that is around the first or second week of December towards the first week of January the following year. Around this time, no tourists are allowed to watch the morning Tuna auction in order to ensure a smooth and accident free course of business.
The don’ts while at Tsukiji Fish Market:-
- Do not enter areas restricted to authorized personnels
- Do not obstruct traffic
- Do not bring large bags and suitcase into the market
- Do not bring small children and pets into the market
- Do not wear high heel shoes and sandals into the market
- Do not take flash photos
- Do not smoke while in the market area
- Do not touch the fish and other products, if you are buying it’s enough by pointing it out and have the seller inspect it in front of you.
How to get to Tsukiji Fish Market from Tokyo Station
Tokyo Station stands on the Marunouchi Line. In order to get to Tsukiji Fish Market, you need to get on either Oedo Line or Hibiya Line. Therefore, if you are coming from Tokyo Station, take the subway to Ginza on Marunouchi Line from Tokyo Station (it’s only 1 stop) and then get on Hibiya Line to Tsukiji Station, and it costs about ¥160 per way. Once you reach the station, you will need to walk for about 10 minutes to the fish market (Honganji temple exit). Admission to the market is free.
Information courtesy of Borman K who has been to Japan many times due to work reasons, he is also an avid Koi fish breeder. You can read his article of Koi Fish on this website too.