Exciting and vivid! Tsukiji Market-Vol. 4

By Kikki - Last updated: 土曜日, 8月 4, 2012 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

Tsukiji is not limited only to professional buyers but also you can enjoy eating and shopping under certain rules





The case that good quality of fresh seafood and a large number of gourmet people eating at various kinds of restaurants in the market, attracted much attention from the mass media. And addition to that, the market took the deregulation of arrivals other than professional fresh food dealers and started promoting more tourists to come, and then a large number of people such as tourists and shoppers have visited to the market. Now the market is often introduced on many guide books including that for foreign visitors regarded as one of the most attracting sightseeing spots inJapan.


There are two different market zones in Tsukiji. One is the Tsukiji Market (so-called Inner Market) and another is Outer Market which is actually an ordinal shopping zone next to the Tsukiji Market. Shops in the Tsukiji Market are basically for wholesalers, food dealers, and other related professional people. Outer Market is just an ordinal shopping zone for general citizens and tourists. On the other hand, so called ‘Jogai’ or outer market is the market which has come into being spontaneously just next to the inner market. There are over 500 shops and restaurants in ‘Jogai’ market and crowded with general citizens and sightseeing people everyday. Outer Market covers an area from the crossing of theShin-ohashi Streetand theHarumi-dori Streetto the border line of the Tsukiji Market.

So called ‘Jonai’ or inner market is consisted of three areas, the seafood intermediate wholesalers area, the vegetables & fruits intermediate wholesalers area, and ‘Uogashi-yokocho’ or associated business with the market.

Most citizens consider the inner market as only for professional people such as wholesalers, intermediate wholesalers, and buyers from food industries. Actually general citizens can visit the market and purchase food with reasonable prices. Especially at ‘Uogashi-yokocho’, there are a number of popular restaurants and many gourmets often eat delicious dishes there.


Although, you can enjoy eating and shopping there, we recommend you to observe basic seven rules especially in the inner market.

1.     Try not visiting too early morning 

Most auction start at about 5:00 in the morning. Shops in the intermediate wholesalers try to bring back and display their purchased seafood at the auction market as soon as possible. Between 6:00 and 8:00 in the morning, the market is very crowded with professional buyers so that you are better not to visit there. Most suitable period is between 8:00 and 11:00 in the morning, but tries not visiting after that, because most shops finish their business. And also most shops in ‘Uogashi-yokocho’ and ‘Jogai’ or outer market are beginning to close their shops around 2:00 p.m.




2.     Every street in the Tsukiji Market is not prepared for pedestrians but for professional workers at the market 

Streets in the market are crowded with coming and outgoing trucks and turrets, bicycles, and other vehicles drove by professional people. All streets are not prepared for pedestrians so that you are better not to disturb their way. You must not stroll with number of people together or not to stop on the street.






3.      Put casual cloth with a pair of sneakers for nimble and agile movement 

Differ from shopping street in your town there are many wet and slippery areas in the market, such as fish tanks, wet floors after washing pieces of fresh seafood. It is better to wear rather casual cloth with a pair of sneakers which help moving quickly in wet and crowded streets.







4.     Try not beat down the price 

Auction system is employed for keeping adequate and reasonable prices, in which only intermediate wholesalers and other licensed buyers can attend. They are professional people who are quite confident to set prices on their dealings. It is a hard-and-fast rule that you never try beating down prices on your purchasing seafood at the market. Compare to ‘Ameya-yokocho’ in Ueno, the Tsukiji market is regarded as a public central wholesale market where the function of collection, distribution, and pricing of goods is done. Basically, it is for professional people, such as owners of small scale shops, eating houses, and first-class Japanese restaurants. Basically, pricing of goods is not done through negotiation for discount. Although, some shops sell their goods to general citizens, same style of negotiation like in ‘Ameya-yokocho’ is not recommendable.

The intermediate wholesalers and other people working on the dealings know about seafood very well. So do not hesitate to ask them if you have some questions on seafood.


5.     No Smoking in the market except in designated places 

You can smoke only at the designated places where ashtrays or smoking stands are arranged. Of course, it is strict rule that no smoking while you are walking on the street.

And there is no trash box on the street so that you must bring back your trash with you.





6.      Observe the guidance from the shop keepers while you are on the waiting line 

There is large number of popular restaurants both in inner and outer markets. When you try to eat at these popular eating places, it is better to follow the guidance made by the staff from the restaurant. Most restaurants are usually located in the crowded streets so the waiting line sometimes disturbs other shoppers to come in. Most popular restaurants, especially located in the ‘Uogashi-yokocho’ usually have only limited space for their guests, so that you are better not to bring your heavy or large luggage into the market.



7.      It is recommendable to list up items for shopping or restaurants before visiting

It is hard to find where to buy and eat if you are not familiar with the Tsukiji Market. You can find list of shops and map on the web-site of the market. (http://www.tsukiji-market.or.jp/)  So it is recommendable to make your shopping list and place of shops on the map before hand. If you need an English speaking guide with you please contact with us. (http://japan-cooltours.com/)  We have experienced tour guide who knows the Tsukiji Market in detail.


Now you are now free to visit the market under certain rules

Along with the increasing number of visitors, including tourists and general citizens other than professional buyers, the market had tolerated those people entering into the keep off places. However, some people tended to disturb general procedures and function of market rules, so the market had set several restrictions for them.


General citizens and tourists were not allowed entering into auction markets, except for frozen tuna auction market where the special observation area was set between 5:00 and 6:15 in the morning.


All auction markets were kept off for general citizens and tourists until 2009/1/17.


Tuna auction market was kept off for general citizens and tourists until 2010/5/8.

Although, there is no restriction on visitors now, except student groups, the market gives the next matters that require attention.

Basic matters that require your attention within the inner market

The Tsukiji Market provides no safe passages especially for visitors. Please make your attention on the next matters when you visit the market.


  1. The market is usually crowded with trucks, special purpose compact cars and other traffics. Please put your attention to these traffics for avoiding any accidents.
  2. Some areas in the market are wet with water and slippery.
  3. Smoking is basically prohibited in the market except some designated places with smoking stands.
  4. No dangerous objects and living pets are allowed bringing into the market.
  5. A wheelchair user must accompany a person.
  6. It is not recommendable to accompany baby or little child in a stroller, wearing of unstable footwear such as a pair of sandals or high-heeled shoes, or carrying of heavy or large luggage, such as suitcase when you entering into the market.
  7. The market has no responsibility on your accident occurred in the market.
  8. No large number of groups is allowed to visit the market, because it obstacles the traffic in the market.
  9. No sightseeing tour is allowed in the market.


The market is usually crowded with trucks, special purpose compact cars.

Some areas in the market are wet with water and slippery


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For travelers from overseas

As a certified guide-interpreter in English and also a writer of the website “Cool Japan Guide”, I am very happy to introduce ‘Tsukiji Market’. If you have something to ask, like to make reservation, or need English speaking tour guide when visit toTokyo, please feel free to contact us. Thank you for your kind cooperation, I am looking forward to your contact.

Please Contact Us/お問合せ

Posted in Cool Tours, Gourmet, Shopping Spots, Tokyo, Travel, Walking Tokyo • • Top Of Page
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