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Tsukiji - 7 Places To Visit: Tsukiji Fish Market, Sushi, Tuna Auctions And More!

Tsukiji - 7 Places To Visit: Tsukiji Fish Market, Sushi, Tuna Auctions And More!

Tsukiji 2018.07.25

Tsukiji in Tokyo is famous for the Tsukiji Market, and is known as “Japan’s Kitchen.” The Tsukiji area has many more things to offer in addition to the fish market and sushi! This article explains how to enjoy Tsukiji, even if you are visiting for the fir

Translated by Sandy Lau

Written by moet

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More than just the Market! The Many Ways to Enjoy Tsukiji

Tsukiji, a popular sightseeing spot in central Tokyo, is home to Tsukiji Market. It is also called Japan’s Kitchen. However, the area has lots to see outside of the markets and sushi! In this article, we explain how to enjoy Tsukiji in a way friendly even for first-time visitors.

1. Start from Tsukiji Market

築地

Tsukiji Market is a seafood, vegetable, and fruit market with the longest history in Tokyo. The market especially prides itself in having the world’s largest scale in seafood transactions. Both the Jonai (inner market), where the auctions take place, and the Jogai (outer market), a shopping district adjacent to the market, are extremely lively with customers.

Although the Jonai (inner market) is scheduled to relocate to the Toyosu area in late 2018 due to the aging of its facilities, the Jogai (outer market) is planned to continue operations as per usual.

First, we’ll introduce details about observations and tours in the Jonai that you’ll want to enjoy before the market is relocated.

1-1. Watching the Tuna Auctions

築地

Picture courtesy of JNTO

Watching the tuna auctions is a very popular activity at Tsukiji Market. It’s a valuable opportunity where you can personally watch as tuna, a vital component in Japanese cuisine like sushi and sashimi (raw sliced seafood), transactions are made. Auctions take place everyday in two sessions from 5:50 to 6:05 and 6:05 to 6:20 in the morning.

Reception takes place at the Fish Information Center adjacent to Tsukiji Market. Application will begin being accepted from 5:00, but start earlier if a large number of people are interested in watching. Applications will be cut off and closed once the 120-person capacity is filled. 

Crowds vary depending on the day, so it is best to arrive at around 3:00 to 4:00.

The center does not accept advanced reservations and one person cannot is apply for multiple people, so be sure to head to the reception only after your entire party has gathered.

1-2. How to Observe the Jonai (Inner Market)

築地

Picture courtesy of Yasufumi Nishi/JNTO

The Intermediate Wholesale Market, where restaurant staff make their purchases, can be observed from 11:00 in the morning (photography is prohibited). An advance application is necessary if observing with a group.

Transactions are mainly made starting early in the morning, and seeing the wholesalers bringing in their purchases to their shops is very exciting.

1-3. Precautions When Observing

Tsukiji Market is not just a market for sightseeing but also a place of business. Please be considerate of the workers in order to not hinder their work. Trucks and small vehicles travel back and forth and you may step in areas wet with water, so be sure to walk with great caution.

Photography in the Seafood Wholesale Market is prohibited. Flash photography is also prohibited in the tuna auction area. Please enjoy the unique Tsukiji atmosphere while abiding by the rules.

Tsukiji Market
Address: Tokyo, Chuo, Tsukiji 5-2-1 Google Map
Access: Immediately outside Tsukiji Market Station (Toei Oedo Line), 15 minute walk from Tsukiji Station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line)
Official Website: http://www.shijou.metro.tokyo.jp/english/tsukiji/index.html#VisitorsRules
* Business holidays on Wednesdays, Sundays, and holidays (please check the official website)

2. Eating Sushi in Tsukiji? Four Recommended Spots

There are countless delicious sushi restaurants in Tsukiji where all the fresh seafood is gathered! We’ll introduce some popular restaurants as well as places that international visitors can visit with ease.

Sushi Zanmai

築地

Picture from Looking for Sushi in Tsukiji? Head to Sushi Zanmai Honten!

Sushi Zanmai is a restaurant that has established close to ten stores near Tsukiji Market. They are especially known for their efforts in procuring their tuna.

The restaurants are offered in different types, including 24-hour operation, kaitenzushi-style (conveyor belt-style) ordering, as well chefs who will prepare sushi at the counter for you, so you can select a location that fits your style.

They also have an English menu available, so non-Japanese speakers can order with ease.

Sushi Zanmai Honten
Address: Tokyo, Chuo, Tsukiji 4-11-9 Google Map
Access: 3 minute walk from Exit 1 at Tsukiji Station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line) or Tsukiji Market Station (Toei Oedo Line)
Official Website: http://www.kiyomura.co.jp/shops/detail/1 (Japanese)

Tsukiji Sushi Ichiban

築地

Picture from Witness The Deconstruction Of A Tuna! A Free Show At Tsukiji Sushi Ichiban (Japanese)

Located within a five minute walk from Tsukiji Market is Tsukiji Sushi Ichiban where you can watch a tuna dismantling show for free!

Here you can witness a large tuna nearly the height of an adult being expertly cut and trimmed, and you can you also take a photo with the tuna after it has been deconstructed, and then enjoy the freshly prepared tuna as sushi. The dismantling show is often conducted during mornings on the weekends, but be sure to check the official Tsukiji Sushi Ichiban website (Japanese) for details.

Tsukiji Sushi Ichiban 4 Jogai Market
Address: Tokyo, Chuo, Tsukiji 4-8-6 Google Map
Access: 4 minute walk from the Exit A1 at Tsukiji Market Station (Toei Oedo Line), 3 minute walk from Exit 1 at Tsukiji Station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line)
Official Website: http://www.sakanaya-group.com/04sushiichiban/honten/main.html (Japanese)

Multilingual Support! Tsukiji Aozora Sandaime and Kaisendon Marukita

築地

Picture from 5 Sushi Restaurants With Multilingual Support In Tsukiji (Kaisendon Marukita)

Here are some restaurants that can provide assistance in other languages such as English or have English menus available.

Tsukiji Aozora Sandaime Honten
A sushi restaurant managed by fish mongers with 100 years of history in Tsukiji. Menus are available written in English and Chinese.

Address: Tokyo, Chuo, Tsukiji 4-13-8 Trust Tsukiji KN Building 1F Google Map
Access: 5 minute walk from Exit 1 at Tsukiji Station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line) or Exit A1 at Tsukiji Market Station (Toei Oedo Line)
Official Website: http://www.aozora3.jp/ (Japanese)

Kaisendon Marukita 1
A restaurant where you can enjoy kaisendon (a rice bowl topped with fresh seafood). Language assistance is available in English, Chinese (simplified and traditional), and Korean.

Address: Tokyo, Chuo, Tsukiji 4-9-5 GoogleMap
Access: 5 minute walk from Exit 1 at Tsukiji Station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line) or Exit A1 at Tsukiji Market Station (Toei Oedo Line)
Official Website: http://tsukiji-marukita.com/english.html

3. Want Something Besides Sushi? Try Tamagoyaki at Yamacho

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Picture from Masterfully Made Omelets at Yamacho in Tsukiji

Food options at Tsukiji aren't limited to just sushi and seafood. As Tsukiji brings all types of delicious ingredients and expert merchants together, here we will introduce other gourmet dishes you can enjoy.

Tamagoyaki (rolled omelet), a popular sushi topping, is also one of the market's specialties. Restaurants and shops where you can enjoy this tasty Tsukiji dish are located in the Jogai Market.

At Yamacho, you can enjoy delicious and affordable tamagoyaki, starting from 100 yen, while watching omelets originally prepared for restaurants being expertly cooked.

Address: Tokyo, Chuo, Tsukiji 4-10-10 Google Map
Access: 3 minute walk from Exit A1 at Tsukiji Market Station (Toei Oedo Line), 4 minute walk from Exit 1 at Tsukiji Station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Station)
Official Website: http://www.tsukiji.or.jp/search/shoplist/cat-c/cat-10/466.html (Japanese)

4. Tsukiji Only! Market Tour and Cooking Classes

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Picture from TSUKIJI COOKING – Have Fun Making Authentic Japanese Food In Tsukiji!

Do you know about the TSUKIJI COOKING workshop, where you can learn how to cook Japanese food at Tsukiji? Through TSUKIJI COOKING, you can participate in a tour of Tsukiji Market and take a cooking class utilizing fresh ingredients purchased from the market.

You’ll be able to learn how to make authentic and staple Japanese foods such as miso soup, sushi, and aji no tataki (*1). This is a very popular class for international visitors. Reservations are made through the official website.

TSUKIJI COOKING
Address: Tokyo, Chuo, Tsukiji 6-22-3 6F Google Map
Access: 5 minute walk from Tsukiji Market Station (Toei Oedo Line), 8 minute walk from Tsukiji Station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line)
Official Website: http://tsukiji-cooking.com/

*1 Aji no Tataki: a dish of fresh horse mackerel finely minced, mixed with green onions and ginger, and eaten with soy sauce.

5. Unique Architecture of Tsukiji Hongwanji

築地で絶対訪れるべき7スポット〜築地市場、マグロ競り、寿司、料理体験〜

Picture courtesy of Tsukiji Hongwanji

Tsukiji Hongwanji is a temple located right by the Hibiya Line at Tsukiji Station. The temple attracts attention for being modeled after ancient Indian Buddhist architecture and stands out from other Japanese temples.

You can not only see the temple, but also visit restaurants, cafes, and shops selling special items. The beautifully ornamented stained glass and a splendid pipe organ are also part of the temple's main attractions.

Tsukiji Hongwanji
Address: Tokyo, Chuo, Tsukiji 3-15-1 Google Map
Access: 1 minute walk from Exit 1 at Tsukiji Station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line), 5 minute walk from Exit A1 at Tsukiji Market Station (Toei Oedo Line)
Official Website: http://www.tsukijihongwanji.jp/eng/

6. Hama-rikyu Gardens - Discover a Metropolitan Oasis

浜離宮

Picture courtesy of Tokyo Metropolitan Park Association

After you’ve fully enjoyed Tsukiji, how about going a bit further and taking a walk through a Japanese garden? Hama-rikyu Gardens is about seven minutes on foot from Tsukiji Market.

It is an area originally home to the villas of shogun (military generals) and the Imperial household’s (relatives of the Emperor of Japan) royal villa. It is now open to the general public as a garden with paid admission (entrance fee is 300 yen).

Here, you can leisurely pass the time by gazing out at the beautiful trees and pond, a sight you wouldn’t think could be in middle of Tokyo. Visitors can also try matcha green tea and wagashi (Japanese sweets) at the tea house here.

Hama-rikyu Gardens
Address: Tokyo, Chuo, Hama-rikyu Gardens 1-1 Google Map
Access: 7 minute walk from Tsukiji Market Station and Shiodome Station
Official Website: https://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/park/format/index028.html (Japanese)

7. Tsukishima Monja Street

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The Tsukishima area located next to Tsukiji is famous for monjayaki, a traditional food of the working class in Tokyo.

Monjayaki is a dish of batter from wheat flour and water that is then mixed with minced vegetables and seafood. You eat this dish fried on top of a griddle.

There are many monjayaki restaurants gathered in the shopping district of Nishinaka Street in Tsukishima, nicknamed “Tsukishima Monja Street.”

Tsukishima Monja Street
Address: Tokyo, Chuo, Tsukishima 1-9 Google Map
Access: 5 minute walk from Exit A1 or A2 at Kachidoki Station, 1 minute walk from Exit 7 at Tsukishima Station
Official Website: http://www.tsukinishi.com/ (Japanese)

Access to Tsukiji

築地

Tsukiji Market Station

To travel to the Tsukiji area, you will be utilizing Tsukiji Station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line, or Tsukiji Market Station on the Toei Oedo Line.

From Tokyo Station
Take the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line at Tokyo Station, transfer to the Hibiya Line at Ginza Station, then exit at Tsukiji Station (takes about ten minutes, 170 yen).

From Shinjuku Station
Take the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line at Shinjuku Station, transfer to the Hibiya Line at Ginza Station, then exit at Tsukiji Station (takes about 26 minutes, 200 yen).

From Haneda Airport
Take the Keikyu Main Line (connects directly to the Toei Asakusa Line), transfer to the Toei Oedo Line at Daimon Station, then exit at Tsukiji Market Station (takes about 45 minutes, 610 yen).

Fully Experience Tsukiji Market and its Surroundings

In addition to what we’ve introduced in this article, there are countless other places to visit in Tsukiji, including Namiyoke Shrine, famous for protection against misfortune and bringing success in business, or Tsukiji Uogashi, containing shops selling fresh ingredients and a food court.

Definitely experience as much as you can in Tsukiji, Japan's Kitchen.

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