Travel – Tokyo Day 2: Tsukiji Fish Market

15 12 2006

Today, I took a break from my Tokyo Toy Plan. Our morning interary today was a visit to the Tsukiji Fish Market! My pre-trip research had revealed that the Tsukiji Fish Market would be a really interesting visit. I looked forward to see those big tuna fish being auctioned away!

So the group got up at 4am local time and aimed to reach the market by 5am. When we finally stepped out of K’s House, gust after gust of that bitterly cold winter wind hit us. Although the walk to the Kuramae Oeda Line subway entrance is just a minute’s walk from K’s House, I was on the brink of experiencing chattering teeth and shivering knees halfway in the walk. You can imagine the relieve when I got into the warm confines of the subway!

The Tsukiji Fish Market is about 7 stations away from Kuramae’s Oeda Line. The station to alight is called Tsukiji Shijo. Alternatively, you can alight at Tsukiji station on the Hibiya line but I believe it will be a longer walk to the market. As you can see, there are more than one station with ‘Tsukiji’ in it! Actually, there is another station on the Oeda Line called Tsukijishima! Initially, we got off at Tsukijishima and realised it was wrong when we could not find the market in the wall mpas in the subway! So get the station right is very important!

At Tsukiji Shijo station, we alighted with many Japanese folks heading for the fish market. We could hazard a guess from the rubber boots they were wearing. Tsukiji Shijo station also had a fishy smell. Serious. We just followed the folks out from an exit. Signs are available to guide visitors.

Tsukiji Fish Market seemed to be next to the underground Tsukiji Shijo station. We walked the perimeter initially to find a ‘visitor-friendly’ entrance but in the end, we just headed into one of those entrances used by trucks and forklifts. The market actually has sections for vegetables and seafood. So head away from the veggies if you are interested to see the tuna.

We were surprised to find that the fish auction was still on-going even though we reached the centre of activity about 5.45am. There is a designated visitor area where tourists can snap pictures and view the bustling proceedings. Rows and rows of tuna line the floor ready to be carted out to be sliced. Check out the pics.

As you leave the auction area, you can walk through those individual seafood stores and see these fish being sawn. You may even get to see a large writhing octopus if you are attentive!

Finally, a word of caution: Be careful as you walk in the market area as it is essentially not primarily a tourist spot. It is foremost, a business area. As such, the workers in the market will go about their business fast. And they drive those small 3-wheeled vehicles, to transport fish from the auction area to their respective stores in the market, pretty fast. So make sure you look out for them when you cross those lanes and try not to get in the way! Remember to enjoy the moment by the way!

Remember to explore the area next to the market as it has many sushi outlets, many of which are opened 24hrs. There are also many street stores with different kinds of food worth trying for breakfast!

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15 06 2008
Kuala Lumpur Hotel

Oh!!! i was there!!!! hahaha you know theres a very similar fish market near my Kuala Lumpur hotel while i was traveling there! the fish in KL were HUGE even more than the ones we saw in the tsukiji fish market! it was amazing! cheers!

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