Getting around Tokyo: Tsukiji Fish Market

For the 25 years I have been going back and forth and or living in Japan, i have never been to the Tsukiji fish market until this trip. My boyfriend initially wanted to go here early morning to see the auctioning of the fish. As we all know, the Tsukiji fish market will not be here anymore by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as they are building something there for the Olympics. If you live in Japan orare planning to come here anytime soon, i think it is about time that you come to the fish market just to see the varieties of fish they are selling or just to eat some good sushi.

You will see a large array of things to taste and to eat, it kind of reminds me of Asakusa, The Japanese have that talent of making their culture into some kind of an attraction without losing their own culture. Unlike in certain countries where you visit tourist spots and you wouldn’t really feel like you were in their country, Japanese tourists spots are very much supported by not only the tourists but also by the locals as well.

Where and what did we eat? 

We didn’t wait so long, we ate at the oldest restaurant there in Tsukiji, which is called Tsukiji Sushisei Honten (築地寿司清 本店)You can probably just head on the Information centre to ask them for a map of the restaurant. The restaurant was opened in 1889, long before the actual Tsukiji fish market was opened in 1935. I followed this long list of suggested places to eat on this website PIC CRUMB (link click here) we decided though in the end to follow the suggestion of the information centre to eat at this restaurant. I read a lot of good reviews on this place AFTER eating here, so I assume it is also one of the best.

I also saw a lot of people eating tamagoyaki on the streets and sushi, but personally I would not suggest eating at those small places. As I have heard a lot of comments about disappointments on the small size of the sushi or the quality wasn’t so special. If you are a very particular eater you should just stick to the good restaurants.

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This was the chefs special which cost, 3500 Yen, a bit pricey for sushi but it was really good. It was the first time I tasted anything so good, I mean I’ve been eating good sushi for years but this was really good.

What time should you go there? 

If you want to see the auction happen we were told that we should have been there by 5am or even before that, I guess if you are willing to wake up as early as that then by all means I am sure it would be a great experience. (take note that trains don’t open till 5am) If not I would suggest you would go on an off time, we were there at around 9:30am and it was perfect because there weren’t a lot of people. By the time we got out of the restaurant there was a long line outside of the restaurant to eat there.

What will you see? 

You will see a lot of fish of course, and a lot of food, if you love food you will definitely love this place. All kinds of sushi and fish everywhere. My obaachan (grandmother) particularly loved the Ichigo daifuku with an ichigo on top. Ichigo is Strawberry in Japanese, so inside the Strawberry filled mocha ball is a strawberry on top. There are a lot of things to explore around the area. It is a short walk from Tsukiji station, make sure you get out of the Tsukiji fish market gate to avoid any confusion of where to walk.

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Here is a picture of the Ichiko ga nokatteru Ichigo daifuku, it was my first time to see and eat this here at Tsukiji

Around Tokyo: 鬼子母神 手作り (Kishibojin handmade market)

Every second sunday of the month is a craft market in the Kishibojin shrine in Zoshigaya. ( sometimes the day also varies but normally it happens during the second sunday of the month ) There are plenty of people who visit and even from 9am there are tons of people lining up to get into the craft market or to line up for the famous delicious bread that they sell here. The market starts at 9am and ends at 4pm and you can see tons of handmade crafts by locals around the area and you can also enjoy Japanese food while going around to look at the many things being sold.

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Small trinkets like gems and earrings

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Chimes and a famous omanju store behind with a very long line as well

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Handmade stamps! and you can even request them to make her to make stamps for you too!

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Glass made necklaces, brooches and rings

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Ceramics and more people

If you are into crafts heres a place that you would love, although it is a bit pricey. Nothing will be sold below ¥1000 except their postcards and the sort, but everything else will be very pricey even up to ¥20000.

How to get there: The easiest way is to ride the Tokyo Toden, or the streetcar in Tokyo and the only one left in service in Tokyo. Go down Kishibojinmae station and you will see a street full of big trees to the right as soon as you get down. Walk straight ahead as soon as you see this big white and black sign and you will not miss the big temple to the left.

There are so many interesting coffee shops around the area and a famous Melon Pan place, which I love. Since it is more “downtown” of Tokyo, not really but very quiet and one of the oldest towns around Tokyo. There are tons of places that you could visit such as one of the oldest sento (bath house) in Tokyo and the Zoshigaya Bochi (graveyard) where the famous graves of Lafcadio Hearn and Natsume Soseki are.