Adventures in East Asia

Tsukiji Fish Market Part 1 - Tokyo’s Top Attraction - How we saw all the action!

Tsukiji Fish Market. Arguably Tokyo's top attraction, the market is full of unusual sea creatures fresh from the boat and tonnes of large tuna that you can view close-up. With our love of sushi, the Tsukiji Fish Market was certainly a destination during our visit to Tokyo, even if an early 5am start was required!


Getting to Tsukiji Fish Market Early and On Time

During our research, we read that its best to arrive around 5am, though we were also told 3am would introduce us to alot more of the action! I'm assuming the earlier time would have revealed lots of unloading of mountains of sea creatures from the arriving ships, but can't verify this since we didn't aim to get to Tsukiji until after 5am.
We did want to catch the tuna auctions however, and this is how we did it.

Train Timetables

We were staying in a hotel near Shinjuku and found out that the earliest train we could get was a 5.02am one along the Toei Oedo metro line straight to Tsukijishijo, which is just a short walk to the market. I had faith in Japan's clockwork efficiency, so knew the times to be accurate and this train was scheduled to arrive at 5.21am. Blurry-eyed and yawning, we found ourselves amongst other tourists with similar intention, heading towards the clearly marked Tsukiji Market exit.

Arriving at Tsukijishijo station and to Street Level

With 21 minutes after 5am, we still needed to find the market and get to where the auctions are held. I actually had previous concerns about missing all the action walking blindly through the massive market. However, these were unfounded. As soon as we got to street level, a considered glance around made it obvious which direction headed towards the river. If even that wasn't obvious, a trickle of tourists who couldn't all be wrong, was there to guide us.

As streets turned to roadside loading bays and we started to spot stalls in the distance, we were clearly heading into the thick of things, and had to keep our eyes out for the mini-transport pallets which were speedy, little petrol-powered platforms, each driven by a busy driver on a mission.



Instinct kept us heading straight on, especially since we didn't know where else to turn (!). However, our instincts were right, luckily for us and the breathtaking view of tens of fresh and frozen tuna, laid on the floor in rows, were visible in the distance within large warehouses that appeared built for the purpose.


More about the Tsukuji Fish Market in the following posts.

If you can't wait, check out the Tsukiji Fish Market photo gallery on Flickr. There's masses of photos there!

This entry posted in : Attractions. Culture. Japan. Tourism.

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28/09/10  at  08:58 PM
it looks like a very bog market. nice post with pictures

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