For the past month visitors have not been allowed into the Tuna Auction at Tsukiji Fish Market, the biggest wholesale seafood and fish market in the world and one of Tokyo’s top attractions, due to concerns about overcrowding, the safety of visitors and disruption to the normal business of the traders – this is a busy place of work and not really designed for visitors. However, it is now open again, but with new procedures and if you are thinking of visiting the tuna auction, please read on;
- A total of 140 visitors will be allowed into the Tuna Auction every day, in 2 groups of 70 persons, and it’s first-come, first-served.
- You should go to the visitor centre by the Kachidoki Gate entrance (not the main entrance, but around the back past the outer market), marked ‘Data and Information Centre for Fish’ at 4.30 am, to register.
- The first 70 people to register go on the 5am visit, the next 70 go at 5.40. Each visit lasts around 35 minutes and you will watch the wholesale auction from a designated area. You are not allowed to walk around the tuna auction or use flash cameras.
If you would like to visit other areas of the Fish Market you will have to wait until after 9am when the auctions have finished, although there are plenty of shops on the outer fringes of the market where you can browse for traditional kitchen implements and the like, or enjoy a typical Japanese breakfast.
Do’s and Don’t’s about visiting Tsukiji Market
Do come early – 4.30am! Only 140 visitors are allowed in a day to the auction.
Do wear old shoes – you’ll ruin good ones.
Don’t bring big bags or small children – you will be dodging more than 900 dealers rushing about the narrow aisles with carts and trolleys full of fish – some still alive.
Don’t wear sandals – you will get very gooey, smelly feet.
Tsukiji is pronounced skee-jee.
The telephone number of the Fish Market is 03-3547-8011/8013 .
This is a morning attraction – the market closes around 1pm, and is closed on Sundays, some Wednesdays and public holidays.
Entrance is free.
The nearest stations are Tsukijishijo (station code E18, the 18th station on the E line) on the Toei Oedo line (shown on maps as line E in a deep magenta pink) and the Tsukiji Station (code H10, the 10th station on the H line) on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya line (shown as line H in silver).
What to do after visiting the Fish Market
You will probably feel like some fresh air! A 5-minute walk away is the lovely peaceful Hama-Rikyu Garden, entrance fee 300yen, and from here you can catch a boat for a 35-minute cruise along the Sumida River up to Asakusa and visit the famous temple.
If you would like to take a guided walk around Tsukiji Fish Market then learn how to make authentic sushi in your guide’s home, have a look at this specially selected small group excursion from www. ReadyClickAndGo.com or email Tara@ReadyClickAndGo.com