Get up at 2:30am and go. You’ll never forget it.
It’s the world’s largest wholesale fish and seafood market, but you’ll leave believing it’s also the most organized market in the world. Having lived in and traveled throughout Asia for nearly three years I’ve seen my fair share of markets. That said, Tsukiji’s chaotic efficiency blew me away perhaps even more than its sheer size. Men gut fish as bulldozers scoop up the thousands of Styrofoam boxes from which those fish were packed. Storage trucks beyond clean hiss as dry ice escapes and from the cloud of it all wooden pallets are lowered to ground level and onto smaller trucks that zip around from shop to shop. And then there’s the famous tuna auction, an experience of 25-minutes that you’ll never forget. I’ll let the photos below tell the story. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me here.
Note: Only 120 visitors can see the fish auction each day. Group 1 will be escorted in at 5:25am and group 2 at around 5:55am. It’s essential that you arrive at the Osakana Fukyu Center located at Kachidoki Gate at around 3:30am. Many travelers told me of arriving after this time and being denied entry.
Note 2: After the auction, walk around a bit and have tuna sashimi at one of the local shops. Sashimi in the morning may not sound great to you, but you simply can’t get any better or any fresher than this.