Tsukiji Market: Tokyo, Japan

Local, fresh markets are among our favorite places to visit when we travel. It is at the markets where we learn the most about a region or a culture and their food. Located in central Tokyo, the Tsukiji Market is fascinating and an amazing sight to see. As the largest fish market in the world, it must be the busiest place in Japan, or so it seems, bustling with trucks, carts, forklifts and people zipping in all directions.

Tons of tuna are sold at the early morning wholesale fish auction held in the inner market. A limited number of visitors are allowed in the auction area to observe and at times, visitors are prohibited in this area so be sure to check the guidelines if you plan to visit. In addition to tuna, an abundance of exceptionally fresh fish and hundreds of other seafood items are also offered for sale.

There is plenty to see without observing the auction. The wholesale fish market is surrounded by several blocks of street vendors offering every imaginable ware and an unending variety of food. Tsukiji Market is synonymous with the best sushi in the world; it doesn’t get any fresher! We slipped into a sushi restaurant in the outer market (the street vendor area) for a moment away from the sensory overload and had some fabulous sushi. Our morning at Tsukiji Market was both enjoyable and educational, definitely time well spent.

Just how fresh is the seafood? Look closely at the image at left. This breaded crab is so fresh it is blowing bubbles! I have a feeling his day will not end well.
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