The Tsukiji Fish Market has probably been my favorite sight so far in Japan. Serving as the central market for all things from the sea, the market has been used since 1923 during the Edo period. The main tourist attraction is the tuna auction. Held every morning at 5am, giant tunas (sometimes over 500 lbs!) are bid on by different merchants and later served throughout the city and surrounding area.
Outside of the market are rows and rows of small shops selling goods as well as delicious food. I had breakfast at one of these places, consisting of 10 different types of seafood on top of rice, and it was absolutely delicious.
The real show though is when you go into the actual market. Taking a fishy smell to a whole new level, the inside of the market is like a city of it’s own. Row after row of little stands fill the old structure, each selling it’s own goods. The place becomes even more hectic with men whipping electric carts around through impossibly tight spaces.
Ranging from salmon to oysters to sea urchin and everything in between, the market offers hundreds of things I didn’t even recognize. It was incredible to see seemingly every type of fish, shellfish and critter for sale either dead or alive in some type of tank.
Unfortunately the market is set to be moved to a larger more modern location in 2016 so it’s days are numbered. I am glad that I came when I did so I could catch such a cool place.