Why visit Tsukiji fish market? A trip to Tokyo gives you the chance to see at first hand one of the oldest and most traditional fish auctions in the world.
Although it used to be open at any time for tourists, there are now designated hours for viewing the auction as a result of the bad behavior of a few disrespectful travelers. Don't worry. You can still visit and we'll tell you where and when below.
View Of The Harbor Outside Tokyo Fish Market
What's The Deal?
Tsukiji fish market is actually divided into 2 distinct areas: the inner market and the outer market. The inner market is where the auctions take place and where entry is restricted. The outer market is open from 05:00 until close of business around 13:00 in the afternoon.
The outer market is where you'll find a wider range of goods on sale including cooking utensils and wholesale produce such as groceries and restaurant supplies. If you fancy trying some fresh sushi while you're here there are little stalls around this area or you can head back to the streets and explore some of the sushi restaurants around.
The inner market can only be entered between 05:00 and 06:15 for visitors to view the auction in action. There's no entry allowed in the tuna wholesale area and visitors are asked not to touch or in any way disturb the business taking place. It's an incredible fact that over 600 billion yen's worth of trading is done here each year.
While you're watching the auction visitors are also asked not to use flash photography. It may sound like a strange request but fish are shiny beasts and if you are the person constantly being photographed I can imagine it wouldn't take long to get annoying!
Just as important is to choose your footwear carefully. This is a working area where fish is constantly sliced, diced, transported, and generally manhandled with no regard for what you're wearing. Wear something comfortable with a low heel which you don't mind if they get a little wet.
Last thing to watch out for is forklift trucks and other means of four wheeled transport. The pace of Tskuiji fish market is fast and if you get in the way it's no-one's fault but your own. Be aware of what's going on around you and you should be ok.
Tsukiji Fish Market Tours
If you want to arrange a tour of Tsukiji fish market we've got 3 options for you:
- Take a pre-arranged full day tour of the area which includes a visit to the fish market. This is a good option if you want to take in the surrounding areas as well as the fish market and not have the hassle of organizing it all yourself.
- Take a tour of the fish market only by booking through this local online service. The days when the tours are offered are limited so try and book ahead so you can work your schedule around this.
- Make your way to the fish market early by Tokyo taxi and do it yourself. A walking tour of Tsukiji is perfectly possible without a pre-arranged tour, it just depends what you prefer. If you'd like to try it by yourself check out this great page written by the gentleman who offers the fish market only tours above. He takes you from the entrance and tells you where to visit with clear and easy to follow directions.