Speaking of wet markets in Tokyo, the first thing that pops into my head will be the Tsukiji market, which is located nearby Ginza. In my country wet markets are everywhere but not in Japan. In Japan, most grocery shopping is done in the supermarket. In supermarkets, everything is nicely processed and packed by the supermarket workers. You don’t see the head or the bone of the fish, how big the fish is, etc.
The first time I visited Tsukiji Market was the time when I had just came to Japan. My best friends roommate’s boyfriend came all the way from Singapore to visit her. So I just tagged along.
Tsukiji Fish market is located near Tsukiji Station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line).
It takes around 8 minutes to reach the Tsukiji Market by foot. From there you can smell something ‘fishy’ around the area. And yep, you have reached the entrance of the Tsukiji market. I know there are a lot of folks waking up in the wee hours of the morning and rushing all the way to Tsukiji Market to watch the Famous Tuna Auction in the market.
At first we wanted to do so too, yet due to the cold weather and sleepiness, we slept til the sunshine was burning our buttocks, and as a result we missed it. Lol. Well, that did not stop us from visiting the market too. By the way the market is open from 05:00 till 14:00.
Once you enter the entrance, you can see fish related products all around
The market not only sells raw materials, it also has a various selection of fresh sushi bowl shops. As you can see from the photos below the enormous crowds are queuing in line for some sushi early in the morning.
Queuing in Line
In Tsukiji, you get to eat the finest sushi in Tokyo. Why ? Because the fish are freshly caught from the ocean and ready to ship around the world. And Tsukiji is one of the most important exporting ports for fisheries in Japan besides Hokkaido.
Sea urchins, fresh fish, any seafood you name you can get it here.
P.S Sea urchins are tasty if you manage to eat it while it’s still alive.
Somehow in the market, you can find things that aren’t related as well. Such as beef rice bowls among the sashimi rice bowl stalls. Yet there are lots of people gathered there to buy it. I dont know why…. lol
More fish (Mainly salmon)
While walking around, something caught our eyes and attention. Guess what it was? Whaleeeeeeee ! The locals still have the custom of eating whale and practice whaling. It was my first time getting in touch with whale related products, I was as giddy as a school girl.
As the weather was slighly cold, the stores were selling hot whale soup. Which means there is real whale meat inside! Can you see from the picture, its white in color after cooking.
This is me. Starting from the left:
Picture of whale species around the seas of Japan.
Whale stew cooking pack.
Food sampling of smoked Whale.
I know some of you might be wondering how does whale test? Well, I can say that it looks like beef and tastes like chewing an octopus but with more texture.
Moving on with another yummy place. Tamago Yaki ! ( Grilled, rolled eggs )
This store is famous for rolled grilled eggs. It is really tasty. You should try this out if you find this store hehe.
During weekends, beside the market, there is a special place that sell local stuff organized by the local NPO. It is sort of like a flea market. As for the one that I bumped into, it was the local tasty food market. Quite interesting.
After almost one hour of walking around, it’s lunch time !!!!! What are we having ? Sashimi Rice Bowl duh….
Almost every restaurant or stall is flooded with people. You can see from the picture, people really queue for it. As for us, we just walked away and searched for another one that does not have such a long queue. (Malaysians are afraid to queue lol)
Finally, we managed to find a stall that had less people.
The price was more then what we are used to but it was really worth it. This ends our journey in Tsukiji Market.
As it is a wholesale market, along the alley you are able to see those fish leftovers.
Overall, Tsukiji market, although it’s not really an official tourist spot, to me it is a nice place to visit. And recently Tsukiji also came out with some interactive sushi classes. If you are interested, please check out our blog at >>>>
How to get there ????
Get out from Tokyo Metro Hibiya line – Tsukiji Station.
Look for Tsukiji Central Market signboards
Hope you find this blog interesting and thanks for reading.
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