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Tsukiji Fish Market 築地市場 Landmarks & Historical Places / Tsukiji

9 Reviews

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celmackrob


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herezjonny


  • Fishy Fish
  • (2011-07-20)
  • TRY THE OCTOPUS BALLS!! I tried one by accident cause I was starving and about to pass away. The guys said something I couldn't understand when I asked him what it was, I shrugged my shoulders, paid him 400 yen for 6 little brown balls. They kinda look like doughnut holes, boy was I wrong. I bit in and wow! It was incredible!! I've eaten so much I could explode and now Im addicted to the Octopi! Try them, if you don't like them I will give you your money back, if you find me!
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tokyo lady


  • Best place for sushi
  • (2010-10-19)
  • I concur with the previous reviews about what an awe-inspiring experience it is to visit the fish auction. I also agree that several 'bad apples', most likely visitors to Japan, have ruined it for us locals. I have not been groped by any 'pervy Japanese seamen' though....'Pervy American seamen' but certainly not Japanese ones...they are more scared of non-Japanese women than we are of them and I have lived here for 11 years LOL.
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enigmatic


  • Tsukiji Fish Market
  • (2009-01-28)
  • Due to the inability of drunken foreigners to STOP LICKING THE TUNA the entire fish market has been redesigned. It is now much harder to see the market as it used to operate. Most people forget when they travel here that it is an actual work place for fishermen and brokers. It is interesting to see, but party people who stumble in here after a night of binge drinking have started ruining it for everyone. If you go, play nice.
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Biki


  • Tsukiji Fish Market
  • (2009-01-08)
  • The Tsukiji Fish Market is something that should be experienced by all who visit Japan. It is a very unique experience, albeit a little dangerous. You have to be very careful in the market so not to get in the way, although I don't think anyone would actually get run over by the really cool cargo carts since all the drivers seem to be very experienced in stopping a few centimeters in front of someone.

    Inside the market are rows and rows of fresh seafood, many of which I have never seen before and could only guess at what they were. But, they all looked absolutely delicious.

    Just beware of what my boyfriend calls "pervy seamen". The story behind this is: A guy, who worked in the market, stepped up beside me to join in the picture my b/f was taking of me and some seafood, and at the same time "touch" my back. And by "touch" I mean a mix between touch/stroke/feel... it wasn't exactly perverted perverted, but definitely not welcome.

    But that aside, if you happen to have access to a kitchen, the seafood is as delicious as it looks especially the furry crab... yum!
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studebaker


  • Tsukiji Fish Market
  • (2008-12-28)
  • It should be noted that the Tuna Auctions are no longer open to the public and that part of the attraction is now closed. That said, this is probably the best place to go for fresh sashimi early in the morning. The best way to do it is to take the last train out to Tsukiji station and find an izakaya which is open late; drink until 4:30 and make your way to the market. Arriving at 7:00 is too late.
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Susan


  • Tsukiji Fish Market
  • (2007-10-01)
  • I don't describe many things as, "one of the best experiences of my life." If you start talking like that, then everything becomes one of the best. However, my visit to Tsukiji Market was one of the best experiences of my life. I have an almost religious love of Japanese food, so it stands to reason that I would truly enjoy myself at Tsukiji. However, even if you're not that keen on fish, it's still a fascinating place to visit. First off, if you're only interested in the sushi and saying that you've been there, then go strait to one of the many famous sushi restaurants there: they usually command a long line. This, however, is a terrible idea. The best part of the market is the market itself. Almost every imaginable kind of fish is sold here. First, you should go watch the actual auction, which start at five thirty sharp. The bidders and fish handlers will probably be yawning, but the auctioneers are a lively bunch. If you've ever been to a livestock auction or any auction in rural America, you know that the auctioneers are largely unintelligible. Such is the case with the auctioneers in Tsukiji. To my ears, the way that the auctioneers call for bids sounds something like a song and something like a war whoop. Before he actually starts, though, the auctioneer takes a large bell and creates a minute long cacophony. That sounds is inexplicably exhilarating. Then he takes off on his unintelligible auctioneering. First, I saw frozen tuna being auctioned off. If you're curious about the auctions but squeamish, then this is the least disturbing auction to watch. These tuna had been de-gilled, which was kind of creepy. Tuna is much bigger than you might imagine. It takes two men to lift one onto a cart. The next auction that I saw was for tuna that was not frozen. At this point I need to mention that the squeamish should probably skip this part. There was entrails and blood on the floor. Crates of smaller sea creatures, such as shrimp, are also auctioned off here. Instead of walking among rows of dead fish, all of the bidders look at the crates in advance and then crowd into a booth to bid on them. Tsukiji is full of interesting sights. A woman slaughtering eels caught my eye. She was bent over a Styrofoam box full of live eels, and she was methodically beheading them. Eel isn't all that popular where I come from, so this was a particularly rare sight for me. I also got to see a tuna being flayed. Before my eyes, it went form huge fish to cuts of meat. Needless to say, this was rather graphic. Interestingly, the knife used in the proceedings was comparable to a katana. They're called oroshi hocho, and they're easily over three feet long. At one point, two men used this impressive knife in tandem. Being someone with a fairly strong stomach, this was a really interesting display to watch. I described the auctioneer's bell as a cacophony, but Tsukiji itself is really one large cacophony. Little stalls line narrow streets under the buildings roof, and oddly shaped little motorized carts dart around frighteningly. It's a visual cacophony as well. The stalls are crammed with fish, crustaceans and other things. People run helter skelter in every possible direction. It's best to keep your wits about you as you meander through the cramped aisles. Be sure to pick a sunny day to go; I can see a rainy day being disastrous. The best advice I can give you is to go early. If you're interested in the fish market itself, you have to go early to see the auctions. If you're only interested in getting some of the best sushi around, you still have to go early to beat the crowds. That being said, keep and open mind. If you're American, you're going to see things at Tsukiji that will probably push your boundaries. That's a good thing, though.
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Peter


  • Tsukiji Fish Market
  • (2007-10-01)
  • Tsukiji fish market is where all respectable Tokyo restaurants buy their fish. In order to experience the place properly, you need to wake up when it is still dark, hop on one of the first trains of the day, and catch the live auction that starts at 5:30 sharp at the back of the market. Tsukiji would probably take 45 minutes to walk around. Think four or five Wal-Mart's, all crammed next to each other, all selling fish. The energy of the place is exhilarating; everyone has the focus, speed, and precision of a space shuttle technician. Older men sort yellowtail, shrimp, and mussels in styrofoam crates in their families' rented spaces, women busily clean their cutting tables and do the day's accounting, young men carry or drag fish on tiny motorized forklifts back and forth. I saw an old man skinning and cleaning eels in a container of water, still wriggling. Most of the fishermen are quite friendly and don't seem to mind all the tourists wandering past.Most of the wholesale area is a mass of styrofoam, ice, and scales. Each company or family has their own space, about the size of a living room, to dress and store their fish. Occasionally there's space for a small walk way, so you can wander around. However, as a tourist I felt like I was constantly getting in the way - keep an eye out at all times. In addition, in the larger alleys workers run forklifts at high speeds with seeming abandon, routinely missing people by inches. This seems really dangerous to me, and I would be especially careful with small children.The auction is where the real action happens. Rows and rows of tuna fish, jostled into place with hooks because of their weight, lie waiting as prospective buyers inspect their meat and take notes. Although salmon and other seafood is auctioned as well, tuna, or maguro, is where the big money is. The cheapest grade goes for approximately 1000 yen per kilo, thus each fish can easily cost 200,000 yen, or $1800. The auctioneers mount step ladders inside a spacious warehouse, chilly from the frozen fish, and start screaming out prices. Bidders make hand motions to bid, and each man wears a baseball hat with his company's name on the front in bright yellow. The bidding goes surprisingly quickly, and the maguro are carted off by mini forklifts to Tokyo restaurants. Tsukiji is very clean. Everyone goes through great pains to hose everything off with water, and by 10AM the place is a ghost town of empty alleys and styrofoam, ready for the next morning. Tsukiji is a wonderful, no cost experience that I'd recommend for everyone. To end your adventure, you can visit the famous sushi restaurants that line the outside of the market. Be warned, however, that 2-hour-plus lines will start forming at around 6 AM. You can always come back later for lunch time, but the lines won't get much shorter.
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Ryan


  • Tsukiji Fish Market
  • (2007-10-01)
  • The Tsukiji fish market is many things: an auction, location for the best sushi, wholesale retailer, but to the fish it must be Hell. For those who can stumble out of bed and get their coffee early enough (auction starts at 5:30 am Monday-Saturday) this is a one-of-a-kind experience that probably can not be matched anywhere. Or, instead of waking up early, you could spend an entire evening out at one of Tokyo's many late night clubs and go to Tsukiji without sleep. I did the latter. We arrived at the Tsukiji around 5:20am and I was immediately thrown into the hubbub of the entire scene. You always have to be careful about the innumerable motorized fish transport things that seems like they are out of a Star Wars movie. It is extremely crowded with people, fish, boxes, and carts that you need to be very careful about where you step and be aware of your surroundings or else you will get trampled. Warnings aside, we wound are way through the labyrinth of stores, boxes and clutter to the back of the market where there is a large seemingly empty warehouse, the site of the auction.
    When I walked in, I could see hundreds of massive fish called Magulo ready to be auctioned off. There is a special section roped off for visitors to stand in and take pictures, most of whom are foreigners on a visit. All the Magulo are different sizes but extremely large and heavy. To move them around, the handlers would take large ice picks and simply swing it into the fish and the two guys would pick them up by the handles. Shortly after I was able to turn around and see the whole warehouse, the auction began. Where I was, they were auctioning the frozen Magulo, but elsewhere they were others going on. I could see 3 auctioneers all standing on milk crates yelling something that was not Japanese but closer to gibberish than any discernable language. Apparently the buyers could understand what he was saying because they would calmly raise their hand while looking at their notebook. Sure enough, handlers would come in every so often, pick up a Magulo and haul it off to a Styrofoam box. After a few minutes, it was done.
    The auction ended rather quickly, at least it seemed that way and so I walked the rest of the warehouse where I came upon about 20 buyers all wearing hats with numbers at a shrimp auction. This one seemed to be more coherent than the Magulo auction, but was too far away to hear them. I then came upon the fresh Magulo which were equally as impressive as the frozen, but did not have the white color of the frozen ones, but looked like large fish. After looking at these for a while, we decided to wind our way through the maze that we forged on the way over. We stopped and looked at all the various little shops along the way and examined the live and dead fish and other sea creatures, all of which were really interesting. I don’t know if I could call those things shops though, they had no walls or many distinctive features other than the different goods they sold. We were lucky enough to come across a man who was using what looked like a Samurai sword to cut up a Magulo. Watching as he had to call for help because the fish was too big was quite entertaining.
    The Tsukiji fish market is simply massive and we were all too tired to try and see all of it so we decided to stop at one of the infamous sushi restaurants there and get what could be Japan's best sushi. Anyways, we had seen the most exciting part. When we got to the restaurant area, at least two restaurants (Daiwa sushi, Sushi dai) had massive line outside which we were told was a three hour wait. We decided upon a less popular restaurant but one that was still exceptional and had our sushi to cap off our morning.
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