If you’re a fish lover and you want to get a practical demonstration on how a wholesale market operates, Tsukiji is one of the best places to be. Located in central Tokyo, this wholesale fish, fruits and vegetable market is known for handling more than two thousand tons of marine products every day. With an outflow and inflow of more than seven million marine products every fiscal year, this fish market is undoubtedly one of the largest of its kind.
Tsujiki fish market is busiest during dawn; this is the time when, you’ll see a variety of wholesale fish and seafood dealers hurrying across the market area with their trucks. The infrastructure of Tsujiki fish market was not constructed to serve as a tourist spot; therefore owing to the exponential increase in the number of tourists over the past few years, there were severe problems to deal with the usual business course.
The tuna auction takes place, every morning in the inner marker area of Tsukiji. The outer market area has a lot of restaurants and stores for public interest, but there are less of such stores in the inner market area to avoid commotion. A layout of the market can be seen from the picture below:
The great auction:
The auction starts from about 5am. The visitors have to form a queue and make an application at the Osakana/Fish information center, located at the Kachidoki Gate. It’s better to reach at or before 5 am as only the first 120 visitors are allowed per day to witness the auction. A group of about 60 visitors are allowed at a time inside the inner area of the fish market between 5.25 and 5.50 am for the first 60 visitors, and 5.50 to 6.15 am for the second slot of 60 visitors.
At first, I could not anticipate the number of visitors and reached a little later than 5am. I was almost about to miss the auction owning to the huge queue in front of me, but I was lucky enough to make a narrow escape. Therefore, I would recommend you to reach before 5 am and apply at the fish information center.
Tsukiji’s outer market area has a lot of shops and restaurants that cater to the visitors. A huge variety of fresh fish and seafood is available in this market area. Almost all the restaurants at this wholesale market are open from 5am.
|Address||〒104-0045 Tokyo, Chuo-ku, Tsukiji５chome ２−１|
|Access||[map]〒104-0045 Tokyo, Chuo-ku, Tsukiji５chome ２−１[/map]|
|Opening Hours||5:00 am onwards|