Visiting the world-famous Tsukiji Fish Market used to be on everyone’s top to do list for Tokyo, in fact in Japan. Unfortunately the market no longer holds tuna auctions. You can still visit the old ramshackle market and shop in the area. It’s still fascinating and well worth a visit. However, if you’re interested in the tuna auctions then you’ll need to make your reservation to attend the auction at the Toyosu Fish Market.
It’s a fascinating glimpse into the workings of a real fish auction as the night’s catch are delivered early in the morning to the market, auctioned off to middlemen, then sold in the outer market to either fish shops or restaurants for hundreds of thousands of dollars. The fresh fish sometimes only makes its way across the square to become the best breakfast in Tsukiji Fish Market.
If it’s on your list, you will want to know all the ins and outs of how to visit Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, including seeing the tuna auction. But you better hurry, this Tokyo landmark will be closing in October 2018 and moving to a new location.
Pin to start planning your visit to the Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market
Is Tsukiji the Most Famous Fish Market in the World?
It’s simple. Once the inner market moved operations to Toyosu, Tsukiji Fish Market was no longer the biggest market. Tuna auctions selling off tunas ranging upwards of 400 pounds have sold for over $600,000. Mind boggling! Today, you’ll need to visit the Toyosu market to watch the tuna auctions, but you can still spend half a day walking and exploring around Tsukiji market.
How to Visit the Tsukiji Fish Market
Tsukiji Fish Market has been a must-see tourist attraction for many, many years, and it still is. However, in 2018, the inner market that sells over 2,000 tons of fish per day moved to its new home in Toyusu. Concerns about aging infrastructure started the call to move the fish market, and the move had been planned for some time, but preparations for the Tokyo Olympics sealed the deal and the larger part of the market moved.
The Best Part – Breakfast at Tsukiji Fish Market
Standing there back outside the market, we wondered, “Now what?”
A temple just outside of the fish market area beckoned to us. Poorly lit, but obviously well-cared for and containing some important tributes to the deities, people were there clapping and praying, most assuredly thanking the gods for their bounty, and hoping the next day offered the same. After we left the temple, we walked down the street and found an open sushi restaurant, called Yamazaki Sushi. This was the prize at the end–fresh sushi, the freshest.
We entered the brightly lit establishment with promises of a “breakfast special” for only 2790 yen that held many of the market’s treats. We ordered it, but we also had to add a few extras. I’d heard that the Uni (sea urchin roe) was best fresh when off the boat. I’d never had an urge to eat sea urchin eggs before, but this was definitely the time to do it. It was a sweet taste of salt water and the ocean and, along with the other sushi we had that morning, the perfect end to our trip to the famous fish market of Tokyo.
Some of the Best Sushi Restaurants in Tsukiji
There is no shortage of places to try the freshest sushi you’ll ever have. As I mentioned we were drawn in by the special advertised so early in the morning at Yamazaki, and it was an experience both watching the men prepare our morning feast, but also the different types of sushi that we hadn’t tried before. It was delicious!
〒104-0045 Tokyo, Chūō, Tsukiji, 5 Chome−2−1
The other sushi restaurants near Tsukiji fish market will not be much different. Fresh fish. Yum! But these are some other favorites:
〒104-0045 Tokyo, Chūō, 築地６丁目２６− 6
5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Chūō, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan
Power Tip: When it comes to eating out in Japan, be adventurous! Check out our incredible food of Japan article for more tips and suggestions!
Practical Information for Visiting the Tsukiji Fish Market and Tuna Auction
Check out the Tsukiji Fish Market website for more details.
Days to Visit Tsukiji
Open Mondays through Saturdays with the exception of Wednesdays and national holidays. Check the calendar before you make the commitment to getting up early.
Opening Hours for the Tsukiji Fish Market
The vendors in and around the fish market have different operating hours, but generally speaking, visiting between 09:00 and 14:00 is best.
Address: 5-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan
What to Wear to the Tsukiji Fish Market
The market is mostly outdoors, so dress accordingly. Be ready for sudden showers, in fall and winter. Of course, wear comfortable walking shoes.
Tokyo Hotels Near Tsukiji Fish Market
The trick to getting a good hotel in Tokyo is simple. Look for decent review ratings that mention comfort and then check location. You don’t want to be too far from a metro station. Here are some Tokyo hotels in the Ginza district that fit the bill and are good value.
Mercure Hotel Ginza TOKYO
7 Chome-14-15 Ginza, Chūō, Tokyo 104-0061
Viainn Higashi Ginza
2 Chome-15-13 Tsukiji, Chūō, Tokyo 104-0045
Mitsui Garden Hotel Ginza Premier
8 Chome-13-1 Ginza, Chūō, Tokyo 104-0061
More Reading: Take a look at our Top Tokyo Attractions article for more tips and advice on visiting this energizing city!
How would you like to eat sushi for breakfast at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo?
Author Bio: Corinne Vail is a travel photographer, food lover, and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 14 years. For many years she lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands teaching the children of the US. military. She’s visited over 90 countries, and she’s not stopping anytime soon.