Our guide to Tsukiji, the world’s largest fish market

07 Mar 2018 in Food Culture

Tokyo’s famed wholesale fish market is set to move later this year. Visit it while it’s still as its historic site!

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Every day, over 2,000 tons of marine products are handled by around 10,000 professionals representing 900 licensed dealers.

There are 480 different kinds of seafood, worth around $14 million daily.

Fish and seafood market

Japanese fish

And some 30,000 vehicles – trucks, vans, carts, buses, motorbikes, taxis and bicycles – whizz in and out of the market every day, hurtling down narrow aisles, dropping off fresh fish and picking up empty packaging.

Tsukiji parking

Tsukiji market is a phenomenon, known internationally for its record-setting tuna auctions.

Situated in Tokyo’s central Tsukiji district since 1935, the market is a short distance from HOSHINOYA Tokyo – but it’s due to move to a new site in Toyosu on October 11, 2018, with the current site set to become a transport hub for the 2020 Olympic Games.

Japanese fish market

Where to buy fish in tokyo

If you can visit before then, make sure you do!

Early-birds can try for one of the 120 daily slots at the famed tuna auction. Entry is around 5.30am but you’ll have to queue much earlier to be sure of a place.

Tuna auction buy in Tokyo

Watching the bidding wars is a fascinating experience – with the all-time record standing at $1.8 million for a single bluefin tuna!

How to cut fish like pro

If early mornings are not your thing, you can still experience the outer and inner markets. The former is chock-a-block with restaurants and retailers selling seafood, top-quality knives and kitchen utensils.

Japanese sword

A sushi meal here is a must.

Original sushi in Japan

Street food in Tsukiji

The inner market is the domain of wholesalers. But at 10am, the public is allowed in.

Tsukiji area

Even at this time, when business is winding down, it’s a hive of activity – and the narrow alleys are full of surprises, with fish you’ve never seen and knives the size of saws!

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Tropical fish in Japan

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