- Type: Sightseeing, Tours, Neighborhood/Area
- Time to Spend: 1 to 2 hours
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Even if you're not a sushi connoisseur, the Tsukiji Market offers an unforgettable experience. While many claim it to be the largest fish market in the world, the handling of more than 2,000 tons of fish per day wows almost any traveler. What you witness here is the huge first step in feeding Tokyo's massive population. Ships arrive in the wee hours of the morning, and by 5:30 a.m., the tuna auctions have commenced with wholesalers bidding for good-looking specimens. Unfortunately, due to the increased number of tourists, these exciting auctions have recently been closed to the public, except for a small viewing area open from 5 to 6:15 a.m. While we encourage early risers to queue for this small space, the outer market, which always welcomes visitors, is sufficient to whet your appetite. In this cavernous marketplace, you'll spy wholesalers hawking their early morning purchases to eager shoppers.
And if all the excitement and bartering makes you a little hungry, why not grab a bite? There are numerous sushi stalls and tiny restaurants in the market. One TripAdvisor user says, "It was expensive to have sushi and sashimi here, but the freshness of the food and the cutting skill of the chefs make me feel that the money was worth it."
The Tsukiji Market is located in the center of Tokyo in the Chuo neighborhood. If you're taking public transit, you should get off at the Tsukiji, Higashi-ginza, or Tsukijisjijo metro stations that surround the market. The market is open for business every day of the week except Sunday; for the most activity, visit in the morning. Exploring the outer market on your own is free, but you can also take a guided tour for a hefty fee. For more information about the tour, head to the Tsukiji Fish Market Guided Tours' website. And if you're venturing there on your own, take a quick gander at this helpful website about the market.