Here are my photos from my 2009 trip to Tokyo when I visited the Tsukiji Fishi Market.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market is commonly known as the Tsukiji Market (Tsukiji shijo-), is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world and also one of the largest wholesale food markets of any kind. The market is located in Tsukiji in central Tokyo, and is a major attraction for foreign visitors.
The three major attractions around Tsukiji market are:
Touring the fish market
The market is the busiest between 5:30 and 8:00 a.m., and the activity declines significantly afterward. Many shops start to close around 11:00 a.m., and the market closes for cleaning around 1:00 p.m. Tourists may visit the market daily between 5 a.m. and 6:15 a.m. and watch the proceedings from a designated area.
Maguro (big tuna) auction
The auctions start around 5:20 a.m. Bidding can only be done by licensed participants. These bidders include intermediate wholesalers (nakaoroshi gyōsha) who operate stalls in the marketplace and other licensed buyers who are agents for restaurants, food processing companies, and large retailers. The auctions usually end around 7:00 a.m.
Restaurants only opened in the morning.
It is not surprising to find a very long lines around the restaurants right near the market. A lot of the Tsukiji visitors would stop by and eat the fresh cut shashimi right off the market. Historically these restaurants served the workers at the market, but as more tourists grew, restaurants became became very popular amongst the visitors. As you can see from my photos, you’ll find the fresh and great sashimi bowl or sushi.