Tsukiji fish market is the famous wholesale fish market in Tokyo and visiting is an absolute must for food lovers.
The original market was not designed to be a tourist destination, it is primarily an industrial market with forklifts and trucks zooming around full of produce. Around the main market is the Tsukiji outer market; a maze of streets, surrounding the main market, which is designed for tourists. With all the food stalls dotted throughout the market, it is also one of Tokyo’s best street food markets!
I am a self-confessed foodie and discovering the local cuisine is one of my favourite travel activities. Therefore, Tsukiji market was high on my to-do list in Tokyo.
However, due to chance encounters with other travellers and recommendations from locals, I couldn’t fit in a trip to the markets until my very last morning in Tokyo. I was getting pretty antsy by this point, but my patience was rewarded!
I absolutely loved the market and it entirely exceeded my expectations. If you love immersing yourself in the local food culture, there’s no better place in Tokyo!
I visited in the morning, as the market is usually closed by 2pm. Plus what better way to start the day than with the freshest fish imaginable!
Even at 8am, the tiny streets were bursting with people and lined with street stalls selling everything from fresh seafood to charming Japanese ceramics. While most vendors sell fish ready to take home and cook, there are small restaurants dotted around where you can experience some of the tastiest, and definitely the freshest, sashimi in Tokyo.
Many of the stores offered samples such as kombu; dried and salted strips of seaweed, takuan; pickled daikon radish, wasabi nuts, dried figs filled with miso, and kimchi. And of course, an incredible array of seafood, most of which I didn’t recognise!
There was more than just fresh fish on display. There were endless varieties of pickles and seaweed products, delicate sweets, and street food stalls selling ready-to-eat snacks such as crabs cooked with kimchi and smoked seafood. There is also a knife store where you can witness the impressive display of famous Japanese knives being sharpened.
After wandering through the tiny streets, a stop at one of the numerous sashimi restaurants is a must! The donburi is topped with the freshest, tastiest fish imaginable and paired with a bowl of miso makes for a perfect breakfast.
- Donburi is essentially a bowl of rice with something on top, often raw fish. Mine was raw tuna with pickles and it was delicious!
I loved getting in amongst the hustle and bustle of the market. It was a very authentic experience; here you won’t find jacked up tourist prices or westernised versions of Japanese food. Rather you’ll find yourself rubbing shoulders with locals doing their daily shopping and laying eyes on a variety of unfamiliar, traditional Japanese ingredients. An unmissable experience for any foodie!
Is Tsukiji Fish Market Moving?
There are major plans underway for Tsukiji Fish Market to close and reopen as Toyosu Fish Market in a new location, just east of the current market. The market was supposed to close in November 2016 but the move was delayed. It is unclear exactly when the market will move however there are plans for Winter 2017. If you want to see the market in its historic state, time is running out!