The Tsukiji fish market features on many “must-do” lists for Tokyo. I might be missing something here but I found the fish market, unlike the rest of Japan, to be somewhat underwhelming.
NOTE: I did not go at 5am to see the tuna auction because there was no guarantee that you would get in. There was a limit of 140 visitors per day on a first-come, first-serve basis. Too many tourists would mean not enough actual tuna buying so you would need to arrive well before 5am. At that hour, the only way would be to cab.
If I had dragged myself out of bed for this gamble, this blog may be different. Instead, I arrived at 9am, and got lost. The market was to your immediate left as you exit the station but there was almost no signage and I walked wayyyy too far. I was not the only one as I found other lost tourists from other parts of Japan and Korea.
Once I did find the markets, I could only see rows and rows of delicious, fresh seafood that I couldn’t buy or eat. If you’ve ever been to the fish market in Pyrmont, Sydney, there is a food court-like area where you can buy sliced sashimi or battered flake and chips or a fish burger and eat these in allocated seating areas. This was not the case at in Tsukiji. It was strictly wholesale but you were welcome to browse and take photos.
Near the markets were a number of sushi/sashimi restaurants but they were all very small and pokey with huge queues. As my time in Toks was limited and I had a big day ahead; I didn’t line up. I left, hungry and cheated. And I was cold!
So that you’re feeling cheated too, enjoy these pics from the Tsukiji fish market. And if you’re going to go, set your alarm for the tuna auction!