Tsukiji Fish Market [Closed]

Japan's largest wholesale fish market

By Francesco Agresti    - 2 min read

Archived content

The fish market operation at Tsukiji (known as the 'inner market') closed and moved to Toyosu Fish Market in October 2018. However, the neighbouring retail/food district (the 'outer market') remains in business.

Last updated: Aug 19, 2019

Make sure you get an early night because you will need to get up at the crack of dawn to experience the world's largest fish market in its entire splendor. In this major tourist attraction you will find countless kinds of fresh fish and seafood, as well as speeding scooters and workers as they hurry to get their jobs done in record speed.

During your visit I whole heartedly recommend you witness the fabulous spectacle of the tense tuna auctions (5:25-6:15) held every morning except Sundays and national holidays. However, you must first make a reservation at the Fish Information Center at the Kachidoki Gate, starting from 5:00am on a first-come, first-serve basis. Two groups of 60 visitors will be admitted to the auction between 5:25-5:50 and 5:50-6:15 respectively.

Other attractions include the wholesale area, where you can browse the hundreds of small stands selling the freshest seafood you could ever find. This large area is extremely chaotic, so please keep your eyes peeled and be thoughtful of the lively yet busy workers. Due to the market’s strict regulations, you should take note of the following:

  • Do not bring large bags or suitcases with you
  • Do not bring pets
  • Do not wear high heel shoes or sandals
  • Do not smoke
  • Do not touch anything

For breakfast, you can search for one of the several sushi restaurants littered around for a taste of the most delicious fish in the city, guaranteed.

Francesco Agresti

Francesco Agresti @francesco

Born in London, England, I came to Japan in 2009 for a life changing experience. I'm a lover of all things Japanese and determined to share my passion with others through writing and video. Currently working as an English teacher while trying to pursue a career in media. I really look forward to sharing Tokyo’s beauty and excitement with the rest of the world!

Join the discussion

Lester Goh 4 years ago
Tsukiji Fish Market is slated for relocation to a nearby plot so as to free up prime real-estate for use.
This has been delayed, but is now set for March 2016 at nearby Toyosu. People who have yet to visit the auction (myself included!!!) should hurry before this historic locale shuts down for good.
Malcome Larcens 4 years ago
I had family visit last summer and we decided to have a look at the live auction but due to some reckless behaviors they hare scaled back the visitors greatly. As of last summer only 120 visitors a day are allowed in two groups of 60. So we arrives at 4:45 but we were already too late. So if anybody plans on getting in I would recommend go early, before 4:00 and it is no guarantee that you can get in. Good luck!
Nicole Bauer 5 years ago
The choice of fish is really unbelievable. I have never seen anything like this before. They also clean it for you when you ask them. Cooking however, would need to take place at home :-)
Shermaine Lau 5 years ago
Did you manage to get some fish? What's the best fish to get and are we able to cook it on the spot? :)
Tian Li 5 years ago
I remember I usually saw the curtain-alike decors at Japanese restaurants where are full of all kinds of fish names. I only know a few of them. It would be real fun to take of those decors to the market and make a checklist.