Tsukiji Market, Tokyo
The Tsukiji Fish Market is more than just a place to buy fish wholesale. It is where you buy fruit as well. Chances are, if you are eating it in a restaurant in Tokyo, it has come through Tsukiji.
Every day 2000 tons of fish go in and out of it. And trust me, it can be smelled as far away as Hatchibori!
You probably won't be able to buy fish at the market, but there are plenty of sushi places around there that are more than willing to serve you. A visit to the fish market is an early morning experience though, as it opens at 5:00 in the morning.
To get there, Tsukiji Market is best accessed from Tsukijishijo Station on the Subway Oedo Line or Tsukiji Station on the Subway Hibiya Line.
Be sure to be there at 5:30, 6:00 AM at the very latest (so, take a cab, it will cost you a few thousand yen, but it's well worth it). You can get there from Tsukijishijo Station on the Subway Oedo Line or Tsukiji Station on the Subway Hibiya Line, but by the earliest time you can reach the place by metro, part of the action in Tsujiki is already done.
Now the entrance to the fresh tuna auctions area is restricted (not a big deal, you can see them from the "visitors" aisle.... or a bit later, when they open the doors after the auctions).
You can see the living-fish containers, the frozen tuna, the intermediate-sellers stalls... it is amazing.... you will not see as much fish anywhere else. It's hectic and everybody moves fast doing their jobs. Be respectful and do not annoy them, and no one will care about you being there. Remember to wear water-resistant shoes (or shoes you do not mind to throw away after the experience). The possibilities for amazing pictures are endless
Wander around until you get bored of so much fish... and have a good breakfast at one the many stalls outside the market (honestly, I was not on the mood for a sushi breakfast... but I had an excellent bowl of Udon with pork ;)) and return to your hotel for a nap
Though not a fishing trip in the usual sense of the word, you will see more fish here than you ever have before.
I struggled to find a way to describe it. I have come across the following passage from A Cook's Tour, the fine book by Anthony Bourdain that describes it as well as I have seen (note that even Tony struggles)...
"While I had visited the awe-inspiring, life-changing mother of all fish markets before this time I would be going with an expert... I've written about Tsukiji in the past, and used up most of the superlatives I can think of. Just take my word for it: It's the Taj Mahal, the Colosseum, the Great Pyramid of seafood. All that unbelievable bounty, spread across acres and acres of concrete, wriggling and spitting from tanks, laid out in brightly colored rows, carefully arranged like dominoes in boxes, skittering and clawing from under piles of crushed ice, jockeyed around on fast-moving carts, the smell of limitless possibilities, countless sensual pleasures - I am inadequate to the task of saying more. There is nowhere else. Believe me."
I couldn't agree more. You must see this to believe it. Early in the morning is better.
Wow. Tsukiji fish market is amazing. Get there at 5:30am if possible to see the auctions for the fish of the day. They auction off these massive Tuna's with no heads or tails. They get driven around on the back of little trucks all over the place and then get fed to the bone saws to cut them up into smaller pieces. The place is franktic and crazy.
It seems weird, but they ignore you and go on with their business. Just make sure you aren't in the way of them doing their business.
By 6am or so the place starts to really move and fish are flying all over the place and stuff. You can walk up and down the isles and check things out at the vendor stands. Buy some weird seafood!
Wear your ***ty shoes and old clothing as you will get wet, and that water usually has fish wangs in it, so it's not spring water you are stepping in.
It's a great crazy time and well worth the early morning trek.
The Tsukiji Fish Market is the largest fish market in the world. If it is in the sea you will see it here at the fish market. You can wonder around the market and see mountains of fish.Open to the public but you have to be up very early to see it. Dont wear good shoes!
The Tsukiji fish market and the surrounding area is a quite interesting experience. After walking through Tsukiji, take some time to explore the neighborhood, which is quite charming and is relatively free of tourists.
Tokyo's Wholesale food market offers many different kinds of food products from all over Japan and all over the World,and accordingly it has become a major distribution center. Most of the perishable food products reach the consumer via the wholesale market.
The wholesale market sanitation inspection station carries out monitoring,testing and inspecting of food products at this food distribution center ,and it prevents the general distribution of bad food products.The inspection station was established to make sure that those living in Tokyo have a safe and plentiful supply of food.
Tsukiji is a photographer's dream, with thousands of wizened old fish-mongers standing warming their hands over open fires, or slicing open fish with long, wicked looking knives. The fishermen and whole-salers are incredibly colourful characters, and when they talk to each other, even if you speak Japanese, you probably won't understand it because of their unique dialect. Be prepared for lots of blood and fish guts on the floor don't wear your best shoes. The best time to go is around 5 am and if you arrive after 8 you won't see much of anything.