Tokyo Fish Market – Bustling Human Theater

Sometimes being in the hustle and bustle of a small place has its own charisma. Witnessing the interactions of humans in a small confined area is like being an insider at a party. One such intimate yet busy place is Tsukiji, or the Tokyo Fish Market.

Located near the Tsukijishijo Station, Tsukiji serves most of Tokyo’s fish needs. More than 400 different types of seafood is available here, a selection that is imported daily from over 60 countries across six continents. As everyone knows, the influence and importance of fish in the Japanese cuisine can be dated back centuries.

The daily Tuna auction is the by-far the prime attraction of the market. One has to head over to the market pretty early to find a place amongst the numerous bidder and tourists. In fact, the market opens at 3:00 a.m. with the arrival of the fresh fish and seafood delivered by various modes from all over the world.

The arrangement and operations of the Tokyo Fish Market are staggering when one oversees the amount of fresh fish handled daily. The fish are scattered on the floor of the market with an individual label stating the price and weight. This is when the fun really starts as the bidders/buyers inspect the fish to determine which one they will later bid on.

The real auctions starts around 5:20 a.m. with the ringing of a cowbell as the auctioneer launches a rhythmic chanting tone. Buyers move around the room with notepads and signal their purchasing bids with fingers. The auction closed at about 7.00 a.m. as the fish is then moved to the buyer’s final selling place. For those who need it, the Tokyo Fish Market offers highly mechanized services in the market itself to cut and maintain the fish. The fish market gets busiest till 8.00 a.m. Afterwards, activity slowly declines with many stores closing shop around 11:00 a.m

The Tokyo Fish Market is just like a live theater. The un-noticed inner market looks like a maze of stalls. One has to squeeze, twist, bend and sometimes even sit to pass through. The constant yelling just adds to the aura of the place. While you visit, be sure to obey the rules posted at the market entrance. The Tokyo Fish Market is the ultimate place to start your day in Tokyo.

Roxanne Genier
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Roxanne Genier

Luxury Brand Management Consultant at Roxy Genier
Roxanne or Roxy, founder of Luxe In A City, was nominated as one of the Top 5 Luxury Travel Bloggers by the readers of USA Today. Aside from overseeing this luxury travel blog, she spends her time teaching how to perfect the feeling of luxury to authentic niche brands while traveling the world with her family.
Roxanne Genier
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