Photo Friday: Tsukiji Fish Market

by Chris on January 20, 2012

This week’s Photo Friday takes us to the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, which sells more than 400 species of seafood.

Eels, Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo

This week’s Photo Friday topic (#FriFotos on Twitter) is EXOTIC. I immediately started thinking of all the exotic fish species I saw at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world.

Fresh seafood, Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo

I went through the market with Shinji Nohara, the Tokyo food fixer. He’s guided some illustrious names in the travel/foodie world, including Anthony Bourdain, Alan Richman and Adam Platt. He got me through an AMAZING sushi breakfast at 5 a.m., but more on that later.


Giant tuna, Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo

I didn’t get to see the famed tuna auction because it’s off-limits to tourists between Dec. 1 and Jan. 22, the busiest time of the year. Even when the auction is open, you need to plan ahead;  only 120 people are allowed in per day. You apply at the Osakana Fukyu Center (Fish Information Center) at the Kachidoki Gate, starting at 5 a.m. on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo

I saw only a handful of other tourists when I walked around the market with Shinji. No matter, I was too busy checking out all the different and unusual species. The market handles more than 400 types of edible sea life, from seaweed to monster tuna to geoduck to things that I found unidentifiable.

Fish for sale, Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo

The sheer volume is also staggering. Shinji told me that about 200,000 tons of fish move through the market every day.

Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo

If you’re going to Tokyo, don’t let the early wakeup call deter you from visiting Tsukiji Fish Market. It’s one of the city’s most famous tourist attractions for a reason. And who knows, maybe it will inspire you to try a variety of seafood that you’ve never had before.

My trip to Japan was sponsored by several hotels and government organizations, but my opinions remain my own. 

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Melvin January 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm

No whale or dolphin? Strange for a Japanese fish market… Not? ;-)

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Anwar February 8, 2012 at 6:16 am

Its not so bad if you miss the tuna auction these days. I went once several years ago and it was great, no big lines, no barriers up, you could just wander around among the tuna and they just had a little rope around the actual auction part. I went again in 2010 and they funnel you into a small area where you have to keep moving through and everyone is pushing and shoving you trying to get a photo of the tuna and auction. I understand why they changed it because of the huge amount of tourists and the lack of respect some people showed (standing on the tuna, etc) to the fact that actual business is going on, but its not as enjoyable an experience anymore.

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Annie@GreenGlobalTravel September 3, 2013 at 12:32 pm

200,000 tons of fish!? That’s an enormous amount! I have to go see this ^^

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