Go Before It's Gone: A Visit to Tsukiji Market



Go Before It's Gone: A Visit to Tsukiji Market


Tsukiji is a large wholesale market that handles much of the fresh fish and produce that makes its way into Japan. Recently there has been a lot of news about the relocation of the inner market to Toyosu, but never fear! Although some of the market's familiar sights like turret trucks zipping around will unfortunately disappear, the shops and restaurants that make up the outer market will stay right where they are. 
 The entrance to Tsukiji outer market
The entrance to the outer market of Tsukiji.

The outer market is made up of some 400 different shops. You can find stores selling various miscellaneous goods, spices, and more. Of course there are also restaurants and stores selling food for take-out. Here are a few of them.A turret truck at Tsukiji Market
This is a turret truck used to transport cargo around the market. These will disappear when the inner market is relocated, so get some pictures while you can!

Many shops line the narrow streets of Tsukiji market
Selling mainly seafood products like tuna and crab, the stores that line the narrow market streets are closely packed together. 

Yatai at Tsukiji Market
The yatai-style stores with their noren curtains that line the streets are lined up neatly. Definitely sample some of their cuisine when you visit!

Go on a tasting tour of Tsukiji 

If asked what's the best way to enjoy time spent at Tsukiji Market, a local would probably reply tabe-aruki, or eating as you walk. There are many stores that sell food in small portions so visitors can try a little of a lot of the market's delicious fare.

Kushi Tama at Tsukiji Yamacho 
This may surprise some of you, but one of the most popular street food for tabe-aruki at Tsukiji is not a kind of fish. It's tamago yaki, Japanese-style omelet! Puzzled as to why there would be stores selling tamago yaki at what is ostensibly a fish market? For many years, these shops have been supplying sushi shops and restaurants with the tamago yaki necessary to prepare their meals. Recently, veteran tamago yaki shop Tsukiji Yamacho has generated quite a buzz with their tamago yaki on a stick. The stick makes it easier to enjoy the tamago yaki while walking. 

Tsukiji Yamacho offers a variety of tamago yaki including sweet and not-too-sweet options as well as warm and chilled ones. Our suggestion for anyone with a sweet tooth is a warm, sweet tamago yaki. 築地 山長_玉子焼き
You can watch the staff making tamago yaki at the front of the store. The skill with which they effortlessly make these Japanese-style omelets is fascinating. 

Kushi Tama at Tsukiji Yamacho
The Kushi-Tama is a piece of tamago yaki on a stick or kushi. One piece for 100 yen. 

Kaisen-don at Maguro No Miyako
But when you visit Tsukiji, you're definitely going to want to save plenty of room for some of the most delicious seafood you've ever tried. That's why there are plenty of seafood options for your tabe-aruki adventures. The shop Maguro No Miyako, for example, serves a popular treat of scallops grilled together with the catch of the day served on top of a scallop shell. The aroma of the freshly grilled seafood is mouth-watering. Also, watching the cooks grill up these tasty treats is quite the performance! Kaisen Yaki at Maguro no Miyako
The kaisen yaki, or grilled seafood. On the day we went, they were serving a mix of scallop, tuna, crab, and uni! 

The front of Maguro no Miyako
They grill your snack right at the front of their store here. You can also check out their line-up of fresh seafood. 
Matsuzaka Beef "Menchi" at Yoshizawa Shoten
While the name Tsukiji is virtually synonymous with seafood, the meat here is also highly recommended! For example, Yoshizawa Shoten's famous dish is their menchi katsu-- a ground meat patty that's been battered and deep fried-- made with Matsuzaka beef. From first bite to last, it's incredibly juicy and bursting with robust flavor. To give you an idea of just how good Matsuzaka beef is, consider that some of Ginza's most luxurious restaurants specializing in Japanese beef also choose the same brand. Lucky for you, you can enjoy all that first-rate deliciousness for just 350 yen for the menchi katsu. Don't miss it! Menchi Katsu from Yoshizawa Shoten
The only kind of beef used in the menchi katsu is Matsuzaka, so you'll be able to experience its true deliciousness.

Getting menchi katsu at Yoshizawa Shoten
Enjoy this tasty bite while it's good and hot! 

Yoshizawa Shoten's menchi katsu is filled with Matsuzaka beef
Once you take a bite inside, you can see that this katsu is packed with juicy beef. Try it with the store's special sauce. 

Whether at a counter seat or a standing restaurant, enjoy a meal "Tsukiji-style"

The outer market of Tsukiji is packed with tons of places where you can grab a bite at the shop's counter or at a yatai, a kind of food stand that feels reminiscent of yatai markets in some other Asian countries. Along Shinbashi-dori, the main road here, you can find places selling seafood donburi (rice bowls), soba, ramen, and much more. It's not uncommon to see people lining up outside of the very popular places! 

Maguro-donburi at Maguro-donburi Segawa
Out of the many restaurants specializing in kaisen-don, or seafood rice bowls, there's one in particular that stands out among the others: Maguro Donburi Segawa. Specializing in tuna, this store takes their namesake fish very seriously. In fact, there's only one item on the menu. You guessed it--- maguro donburi! They marinate that day's fresh red meat tuna in their special soy-based sauce and layer it on top of vinegared sushi rice. This fish practically melts in your mouth when you eat it. 

(While technically there's only one item on the menu, when delicious chuu-toro tuna comes in, the shop makes special Ima Dake Donburi ("get it while you can" rice bowls) which sell for 1,600 yen.)Maguro donburi at Segawa
The maguro donburi (900 yen) comes with a layer of seaweed under the tuna, and of course there’s wasabi as well as shredded perilla leaf for a spicy kick! You can add extra rice to your rice bowl (known as oomori in Japanese) for an extra 200 yen.  

The outside of Maguro Donburi Segawa
Segawa is a small restaurant with only six counter seats. They also close in the afternoon, so get there in the morning! 

Stuffed? Take a break from eating to do some shopping!

Tsukiji Hitachiya
The outer market of Tsukiji is also home to shops selling seasonings and other foodstuffs, kitchenware, and so on. Here you can find stores selling the ingredients you need to make dashi, the soup stock essential to producing the signature umami flavor of Japanese cuisine, and those selling Japanese knives. Out of all the stores selling kitchenware, there's one in particular that stands out as the most popular: Tsukiji Hitachiya. Carrying some 1,000 different items from tea cups to fun but useful interior goods, this store catches the attention of both Japanese and foreign tourists alike. Whether you're looking for some Japanese cooking utensils or unique interior decor, this is the place to go!Inside Tsukiji Hitachiya
Here you can find many examples of traditional Japanese kitchenware like ohitsu (wooden containers for cooked rice) and bento lunch boxes. 

Small frying pans at Tsukiji Hitachiya
At only 7~8cm in diameter, this cute little frying pan can be used as a decorative container for your spices, salt, or pepper (1,050 yen ea.). The even smaller frying pan can be used as a spoon (510 yen ea.). 

Tawashi charms at Tsukiji Hitachiya
Small Japanese scrubbing brushes called tawashi that have been made into charms for cell phones (540 yen ea.) 

Enjoy a coffee (or matcha!) break at Tsukiji 

A matcha set from Tsukiji Maruyama Jugetsudo's main Tsukiji location 
After enjoying all the tastes of Tsukiji as well as some shopping, why not enjoy a little break with some coffee or tea? 

One option for this is Tsukiji Maruyama Jugetsudo. It might surprise you to learn that this store actually specializes in nori seaweed--- and that this long standing-store has also opened up a branch in Paris. But Jugetsudo also carries matcha, the refreshingly bitter aroma of which fills the store. We recommend ordering their matcha set. It comes with a soft, seasonal Japanese sweet, and the staff will prepare the cup of tea right in front of you using traditional methods. The matcha they use here has a faintly sweet taste which goes along great with the wagashi.Getting matcha at Tsukiji Maruyama Jugetsudo in Tsukiji
Watching the staff mix up the matcha is very relaxing. 

The matcha set at Tsukiji Maruyama Jugetsudo in Tsukiji
The sweet that comes with the matcha set here is as beautiful as it is delicious (Matcha Hatsune set with thin matcha; 1,250 yen ea.). 

Coffee from Yonemoto Coffee's main location
From the early morning, Tsukiji's first coffee shop Yonemoto Coffee is lively with both market employees and shoppers. Here, visitors can enjoy high-quality coffee made from freshly roasted beans at prices on par with chain coffee shops. The bracing aroma of coffee combined with the amicable presence of the shop owner is the perfect pick me up after a long early walk through the market. The slightly narrow main shop has seating for only twenty, but the newer shop Tsukiji Shinten is located nearby. Head there if you want to stop by during busy hours. Yonemoto Coffee in Tsukiji
Shop owner Mr. Yonemoto is happy to give directions or information about interesting shops. 

The price of a cup of coffee here starts from 280 yen. Be sure to enjoy it while it's good and hot!

Yonemoto Coffee souvenirs
You can take the taste of Yonemoto Coffee home with you when you purchase some of the store's personal drip coffee packs (100 yen ea.). The design features Mr. Yonemoto's friendly face! The coffee used in the packs has a nice acidity. 

There's even a tourist information center!

Also located in Tsukiji's outer market is Platto Tsukiji, a tourism information center. Not only do they provide English language maps, but they also have information about other attractions in the local area as well as information about public transportation. They sell souvenirs like a T-shirt with a maguro design and ice packs for shoppers wanting to keep their market purchases fresh. There is also a selection of various size coin lockers here for storing your stuff as well as a free rest area with vending machines. Should you have any questions about Tsukiji, this is the place to go! Tsukiji's tourist information center.
Tsukiji's tourist information center.

Inside Tsukiji's tourist information center.
It's easy to find your way around Tsukiji with the help of their maps and explanations. 

Cool bags on sale at the Tsukiji tourist information center.
They also sell bags to keep your purchases cooler longer that are printed with the name TSUKIJI (950 yen for the bag pictured left). 

Basic Information about Tsukiji Outer Market

1. Most stores in the market open early in the morning and close around noon. 
Most of the stores in the market cater to the needs of professionals, so many open early in the morning and close at or around noon, so please keep that in mind when you visit. 

2. Be careful of market closings! 
There are several things to be aware of when it comes to stores and their days off. In general, many stores will be closed when the market is closed, which is on Sundays, national holidays, and some Wednesdays. Please plan your visit accordingly!

3. Accessibility
The nearest stations to the market are Tsukijishijo Staton (Toei Oedo Line) and Tsukiji Station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Subway Line). The market is roughly a 2~3 minute walk from either station. Also, you can walk from the market to Ginza in about 20 minutes. 

Do you have a favorite place to go when you visit Tsukiji Market? Or maybe there's a certain type of food you'd like to recommend? Let us know in the comments, and enjoy your visit to Tsukiji Outer Market!


Tsukiji Yamacho | 築地山長 
Address: 4-10-10 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 
Hours: Mon~Sat 6:00am~3:30pm; Sundays and holidays 8:00am~3:30pm

Maguro Miyako | まぐろのみやこ
Address: 4-13-13 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 
Hours: 5:00am~ around 5:00pm 
Note: store may close early 

Yoshizawa Shoten Tsukiji Location | 吉澤商店 築地店 
Address: 4-13-15 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 
Hours: 7:00am~2:00pm 
Closed Sundays, holidays, and days when the market is closed 

Maguro Donburi Segawa | まぐろどんぶり 瀬川
4-9-12 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 
Hours: 8:00am~12:30pm (store will close once supplies are sold out) 
Closed Wednesdays, Sundays, national holidays, and days when the market is closed

Tsukiji Hitaya | つきじ常陸屋 
Address: Cygnet Deux 1F
4-12-5 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 
Hours: 8:00am~3:00pm
Sundays and national holidays 10:00am~2:00pm

Tsukiji Maruyama Jugetsudo Main Store | 築地丸山 寿月堂 築地本店 
Address: Tsukiji Kyoeikai Bldg. 1F
4-7-5 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 
Hours: 9:00am~6:00pm
Closed Sundays and national holidays

Yonemoto Coffee Main Store | 米本珈琲本店
Address: 4-11-1 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 5:30am~4:00pm
Closed Sundays and national holidays

Puratto Tsukiji | ぷらっと築地 
Address: Senjakakuto 1F
4-16-2 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 
Hours: 8:00am~2:00pm 
Sundays, holidays, and days when the market is closed: 10:00am~2:00pm

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