I have wanted to visit the Tokyo Fish Market for a long time, Tsukiji Outer Market is what remains of the original market that moved in 2018. Unfortunately the fish auctions are no longer open to the public, unless you are with a local Chef.
The Tsukiji Outer Market is home to both wholesale and retail sellers as well as a number of food outlets.
As I had no idea where to start I decided to join an organised tour, my tour guide for the day was Kumei from Arigato Food Tours. My tour of was the Classic Tsukiji Breakfast Tour, which combined a tour of the markets and the opportunity to try some of the local fare.
17th Century Buddhist Temple
On the way to the Tsukiji Outer Market we passed a large Buddhist Temple that was built using stone based on an Indian style. The builders chose stone to help protect it from earthquakes the previous temple was significantly damaged by an earthquake early in the 20th Century.
Saint Shinran Statue
Next to the Buddhist Temple is a monument to Saint Shinran who founded the the Jōdo Shinshū sect of Japanese Buddhism.
Tsukiji Outer Market
Next stop was the edge of the Tsukiji Outer Market and our first stop for food. Tuna on a stick… Yum.
Wandering around the Market
We arrived shortly before the opening time, though you can see that it was already busy. A good mix of locals and tourists, busy place.
Our next food stop was another place that serves meet on a stick, this was chicken. Served cold, tasty marinade.
After a short walk around the block we arrived a small arcade that had a few small food outlets, including our next stop. This time for some very good sashimi and a tasty cooked fish.
Most of my fellow tourists did not want to taste the Uni on offer, that did not stop me though.
When we entered the main seafood market area of Tsukiji Outer Market we came across this lady preparing Tuna for sale. Checkout the knife… This is a real knife, bigger than anything Crocodile Dundee every carried.
The Seafood Market of Tsukiji Outer Market is housed in two buildings. So much fresh fish so little time.
Namiyoke Inari Shrine
The Namiyoke Inari Shrine was established to protect this area from the sea, it is now the unofficial shrine that protects the market. Can you guess which of the Dragon Heads is female and which is male?
The red Dragon Head is the female one. A long time ago women in Japan used black paint on the teeth as a part of their beauty regime.
More of the Seafood Market
After we had finished checking out the market, it was time to head up to the roof where there is a food court for more food. It was also time for a sake tasting. The eel sushi was another dish that most of the others on the tour avoided. They don’t know what they were missing.
The sake’s were all from different producers and were all good quality, could have sat up there all day and extended the tasting, but we were not finished with our tour…
It was strawberry season so dessert was always going to be something strawberry.
Whilst it looked very sweet, it wasn’t. The pink base was a more savoury than sweet with what I think was a red bean paste. An interesting an enjoyable combination. A nice end to a great tour.
Classic Tsukiji Breakfast Tour – Arigato Food Tours
I would recommend Arigato Food Tours if you are in Tokyo and want to learn more about the different districts and foods of Tokyo. Wish I had more time to have gone on more tours. One of the positives of Arigato’s Tours is that the groups are smaller and they also cater for solo tourists.
Our guide, Kumei, was very helpful and knowledgeable. She quickly worked out the different dietary needs of the tour group.
One thing to be aware of is that inside the market some of the store owners are not fans of their wares being photographed.
I hope I get a chance to go back to Tsukiji and to also find away to go to the new Toyosu Market and watch the auctions. There are viewing areas apparently that you need to book to get access for a short period of time.