Besides being the largest wholesale fish market in the world, Tsukiji Market also prides itself on its unique free live tuna auctions and fresh fish.
Each day (check the official website for open days as it varies), the fish market allows 2 groups of 60 people into the live auction, once at 5.25AM and another at 5.50AM. To be part of this limited live show, you need to apply at the Fish Market Info Centre (Osakana Fukyu Centre) at 5AM. Spots for this tuna auction are highly demanded and highly limited so I would say get there much earlier.
Yes, the wholesale market has a strong fishy smell but that is where the experience is at. This is where fresh seafood are sold wholesale and it is definitely eye-opening the types of fish you see that you don’t usually at your local supermarket!
Wholesale Market Area
As much of a tourist attraction as this fish market has become, it is important to keep in mind that this is still a place where locals conduct strict business. Try to dodge the oncoming trucks and carts as paths are very narrow and crowded. And wear shoes you wouldn’t mind getting wet and dirty! Some parts of the ground can be covered in ice, guts, blood so be mindful.
Outer Market Area
This is where the restaurants are along the narrow streets where you can indulge freely in all the fresh seafoods and also where locals come to do their weekly grocery shopping!
I tried to narrow the photos down but each of them speak such volumes and I just didn’t know how.
Overall it is a local attraction not to miss. If you are from anywhere in the world but Japan, this is where you truly feel as if you have stepped into a whole other country that is Japan.