In Tokyo, there is currently the largest open-air fish market in the country. The Tsukiji Fish Market there though is not only the biggest in the city but also the world. Because of its vast size, it has become a favorite place for people to visit when they go to Tokyo. Unfortunately because of a variety of issues surrounding it the Tsukiji Fish Market is slated to be moved to Toyosu in late 2016. The move though has been met with a lot of controversies but while it’s still in Tokyo and if you have the opportunity I would definitely suggest making it a stop. You need to know a few things before going, and hopefully, I can shed some light on the Tsukiji Fish Market so you can have a bit of a heads up before arriving.
Dressing for the weather is paramount in winter but holds year round. The fish market is not heated and in the winter months and when you arrive it can often be frigid cold. Make sure you pack a jacket and dress in layers. This cold is also amplified in the early morning when you will have to arrive to watch the world famous tuna action that occurs there. Make sure your footwear is appropriate for the locale as well. It is cold, wet, and slippery there, so sandals or flip flops are not suitable footwear. High heels are also definitely not appropriate for the area either so I suggest a pair of running shoes or another form of closed toed shoe. If your shoes are not suitable, you will be asked to leave.
Like everything in the fishing world the day starts early. This is especially true at the Tsukiji Fish Market. The auction begins very early in the morning, so I suggest showing up at about an hour beforehand. Arriving early will help you have a spot for the tour of the auction. Only 60 people are allowed to be in the auction at one time so getting a seat among them may be a challenge. Two tours occur in the morning. The first group is let it between 5:25 and 5:50 and the second group of 60 between 5:50 and 6:15. I also suggest because of this to find a place to stay nearby the night before, so the early morning doesn’t have to be any earlier than necessary. The market is not open every day either so be sure to check the calendar to see which days it is
Be Respectful During Your Visit
The Tsukiji Fish Market is a wholesale fish market for the people who work there, and while also being a tourist attraction its primary role is that of business. Do not disrupt the auction as it occurs or else you will be swiftly escorted out. Refrain from eating during your visit and do not go around touching things without expecting to foot the bill for it. You should follow rules of being courteous and since it is someone else’s place of business. The people who work there allow you to watch, and little extra care is the least you can do. There are also several off limits locations at the market so don’t go wandering too far. Another thing to be aware of is certain parts of the market are only accessible if you plan on buying something so keep that in mind while you explore.
Try The Food
The Tsukiji Fish Market has lots of sushi shops surrounding it that pull their fish directly from the market. Because of this, the food you have at these eateries is guaranteed to be some of the freshest. The auction is very cool as is walking around the market gawking at all the fish. If you don’t try eating the fish that made the market famous, you are only enjoying half of what makes the market so great. Tourists will be lining out and around what is considered the more famous restaurants in the market so if you go there for food try to arrive early and be one of the first in line. Unless you are a sushi connoisseur, one of the smaller shops is more than acceptable, I guarantee the fish will go above and beyond your expectations.
The Tsukiji Fish Market is one of the premier attractions in Tokyo to visit while you make a trip there. The free entrance fee makes it an affordable one as well. If you are willing to wake up early and are visiting before it moves location, I highly suggest adding it to your itinerary so you can enjoy the food and culture that has made it so famou