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Tokyo Fish Market: A Guide to the Best Seafood in Japan's Capital

Tokyo Fish Market: A Guide to the Best Seafood in Japan's Capital

If you're a seafood lover, a visit to Tokyo's fish market is a must-do activity.

Tokyo is home to two main fish markets, Tsukiji and Toyosu, which offer a unique glimpse into Japan's seafood culture.

While Tsukiji was the original fish market and a popular tourist attraction for many years, Toyosu is the newer and more modern market that replaced Tsukiji in 2018.

Exploring the Markets

At both Tsukiji and Toyosu markets, you can witness the exciting tuna auctions and observe the daily catch being sold at wholesale prices.

You can also find a wide variety of fresh seafood, vegetables, and traditional Japanese foods at the outer markets.

The Tsukiji outer market is particularly famous for its sushi restaurants and street food stalls, while Toyosu offers a rooftop garden and a unique view of the city skyline.

Culinary Delights and Activities

A visit to Tokyo's fish markets is not complete without trying some of the delicious seafood dishes.

You can enjoy fresh sushi, sashimi, and other seafood delicacies at the restaurants located within the markets or at nearby eateries.

In addition to dining, you can also participate in cooking classes and food tours to learn more about Japanese cuisine and culinary traditions.

Key Takeaways

  • Tokyo has two main fish markets, Tsukiji and Toyosu, which offer a unique glimpse into Japan's seafood culture.
  • Both markets offer exciting tuna auctions and a wide variety of fresh seafood, vegetables, and traditional Japanese foods at the outer markets.
  • A visit to Tokyo's fish markets is not complete without trying some of the delicious seafood dishes and participating in cooking classes and food tours.

Exploring the Markets

Vibrant stalls line the bustling Tokyo fish market, showcasing a colorful array of fresh seafood and exotic marine delicacies. Busy vendors and eager customers create an atmosphere of lively energy and excitement

When it comes to seafood, Tokyo is one of the best places to visit. The city boasts two major fish markets: Tsukiji Market Heritage and Toyosu Market Innovation.

Both markets offer unique experiences for visitors, from the famous tuna auction to the freshest sushi restaurants.

Tsukiji Market Heritage

Tsukiji Market was the largest fish market in the world before moving to Toyosu in 2018. The market has a rich history that dates back to the Tokugawa Shogunate, and it has survived the Great Fire of Meireki and World War II.

Today, the outer market still offers a wide variety of shops and vendors selling fresh seafood, kitchen utensils, and souvenirs to tourists and visitors.

The inner market, where the famous tuna auction used to take place, is now closed to tourists. However, visitors can still enjoy fresh sushi and seafood dishes at the many sushi restaurants in the outer market.

It's a must-visit destination for foodies and anyone interested in the history of Tokyo's culinary culture.

Toyosu Market Innovation

Toyosu Market is the new home of the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market, which includes the seafood market.

The market is known for its advanced technology and sustainable practices, making it a great destination for those interested in the future of seafood.

Visitors can observe the tuna auction from a dedicated observation deck, where they can see the auction and learn about the different types of tuna.

The market also offers shops and restaurants that serve sustainable sushi, which is made with seafood that is not at risk of extinction.

Whether you're a seafood lover, a tourist, or a local, the Tokyo fish markets are a must-visit destination. From the history of Tsukiji to the innovation of Toyosu, there's something for everyone. So, grab your shopping bags and get ready to explore the freshest seafood in Tokyo!

Culinary Delights and Activities

Vibrant fish market with bustling stalls and colorful seafood displays, surrounded by eager customers and skilled chefs preparing fresh sushi and sashimi

Dining and Cuisine

If you're a food lover, Tokyo Fish Market is the place to be. The market is home to a variety of restaurants, sushi shops, and wholesale and retail shops that offer fresh seafood and Japanese cuisine.

Whether you're looking for a quick breakfast or a leisurely lunch, you'll find plenty of options to choose from.

The restaurant area is divided into two sections: Jonai and Jogai. Jonai is the inner market where you can find fresh seafood and sushi shops. Jogai is the outer market where you can find restaurants and retail shops.

Some of the popular dishes you can try include sushi, sashimi, kaisendon, and tamagoyaki.

If you want to learn more about the food and culture of Tokyo Fish Market, you can join one of the many food tours available.

These tours are led by expert guides who will take you through the market and introduce you to its culinary delights.

Market Activities

Apart from dining, there are plenty of activities to keep you entertained at Tokyo Fish Market.

One of the most popular activities is the lottery for the coveted tickets to the tuna auction. The auction takes place early in the morning, and only a limited number of visitors are allowed to attend.

If you're lucky enough to win the lottery, you'll get to witness the excitement of the auction up close.

If you're not interested in the tuna auction, you can still watch the action from the observation windows.

These windows overlook the auction area and give you a bird's eye view of the proceedings.

Another activity you can enjoy is shopping.

The market is home to a variety of wholesale and retail shops that sell fresh seafood, kitchenware, and souvenirs. You can also take part in experiences like sushi-making classes and fish filleting demonstrations.

Frequently Asked Questions

The bustling Tokyo fish market, with vendors selling fresh seafood and customers browsing, surrounded by colorful signs and bustling activity

What are the opening hours for the new fish market in Tokyo?

The Toyosu Fish Market in Tokyo opens early in the morning, usually around 5:00 am, and closes around midday. However, it's important to note that the market is closed on Sundays, Wednesdays, and some holidays.

When's the best time to visit the fish market in Tokyo for the tuna auction?

If you want to witness the famous tuna auction in Tokyo, you'll need to arrive at the market very early in the morning, around 3:30 am.

However, be aware that only a limited number of visitors are allowed to attend the auction each day, so you'll need to apply in advance through a lottery system.

What's the latest location for the Tokyo fish market that replaced Tsukiji?

The Tokyo fish market that replaced Tsukiji is the Toyosu Fish Market, which opened in 2018. It's located in the Toyosu area of Tokyo, which is about two kilometres southeast of the old Tsukiji market.

Are there any notable differences between Tsukiji and Toyosu markets?

Yes, there are some notable differences between the Tsukiji and Toyosu markets.

The most obvious difference is that the Toyosu market is much newer and cleaner than the old Tsukiji market.

Additionally, the layout of the Toyosu market is more organised and easier to navigate. However, some visitors miss the lively atmosphere and charm of the old Tsukiji market.

Is it still worth checking out the old Tsukiji market area?

Yes, it's still worth checking out the old Tsukiji market area, even though the inner market has been relocated to the new Toyosu market.

The outer market, which is home to many shops and restaurants, is still open and bustling with activity. You can still enjoy delicious seafood and other local delicacies in the area.

Can you tell me about any special events at Tokyo's main fish market?

There are several special events that take place at Tokyo's main fish market throughout the year.

For example, in February, there's a tuna festival where visitors can sample different types of tuna and watch cooking demonstrations.

In October, there's a seafood festival where you can try a variety of seafood dishes from different regions of Japan.

Additionally, there are various seasonal events and celebrations that take place throughout the year.