Tsukiji Fish Market 築地市場

Image by TravelVince

Image by TravelVince

Tsukiji Fish Market is one of Tokyo’s most interesting sights. The wholesale seafood paradise is a hive of activity, mostly early mornings, making it a nice option for the jet lagged tourist who wakes up at 4am. In contrast to the ever-so-organized city, the market looks messy and confusing, with little trucks zipping in all directions, long corridors with creatures from the seven seas, loading and unloading of trucks, shouting and Japanese signs. But take a closer look and you will notice that there is a very well orchestrated choreography around. From the tuna auctions to the sushi restaurants on the outer ring of Tsukiji, there is a lot to observe, many great picture stops and after you have had enough of fish, Ginza is only a few blocks away.

Image by TravelVince

Image by TravelVince

However, the whole market is set to move to a new location in Toyosu. It is not too far from its present incarnation, but it will not be so convenient to get there and part of the atmosphere of the place may fade away. For now, my recommendation is to get to Tsukiji early, don’t go in a group, walk around trying not to disturb the fishermen and respect the no go areas. Get in line early for the sushi restaurants even if it may be weird for you to have fish for breakfast. Some restaurants have longer lines than others, this is because they are more famous. The etiquette is normally to wait for your turn. Patrons enter in groups to be served all at the same time with an omakase (chef’s selection). After all have eaten, doors open and the next group comes in.

There is a documentary called “Tsukiji Wonderland” about the market which may be a great source of information before your visit.

Image by TravelVince

Image by TravelVince

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