Tokyo's fish market, Tsukijishijō, is the World's largest. It's actually hard to think there's still fish in the ocean (albeit decreasing stocks) when you realize what you're seeing is the same every day of the year, and not just in Tokyo. Tons of seafood transit through Tsukijishijō before they are shipped across the country. This means you will have to start your visit before 4am. Yes, that’s four o'clock in the morning :-) But it is well worth being up early, because it is an amazing show! And it is essential if you want to attend the many auctions in the market. In particular the tuna auctions are amazing - if you can find them. Indeed, only a specific spot which is well marked, but which is not signed, is open to visitors - so you'll have to find it, which is a bit of a needle in a haystack thing. The tuna auctions are behind big yellow doors, and only a small door is for visitors (I found it by chance in fact). Tunas are endangered, you’ll figure out why.

 

I recommend you end your visit (~7.30am) with a great fish breakfast in one of the many small restaurants in the market. This will be one of the best breakfasts you will ever have. Note that the market is organized in a logical manner, so do not expect to find the restaurants where the fish is auctioned or sold.

 

The only negative point about a visit of Tsukijishijō is the smell. Not that of the fish (it doesn't smell fish), but of the many conveyors which run on diesel. This quickly gets to your head. But otherwise it's a very interesting and eye-opening visit. Do bear in mind however people are working there and are in a big hurry - they tolerate visitors and will often be pleased you take pictures of them  provided you're not interfering with their duties. In particular be careful of the conveyors which seem to appear from anywhere at anytime - watch your back!


If you like the pictures in this gallery, you might also like the pictures of Tokyo, the pictures of Kyoto, all on snapi.org :) The pictures in this gallery were shot with a Canon EOS 40D and a Canon EOS 400D associated with Canon EF 17-40mm f4L USM and Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS USM.

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