One of the places I visited while I was in Japan was the Tsukiji Fish Market.
To be honest, I didn’t think it was a place that was particularly worth visiting. I know the draw is the tuna auction at 4.00 am (JST) but seriously, the idea of taking a cab in Tokyo to reach the market that early to watch the auction is quite a turn-off. Like priorities man, the bed is precious!
Besides, the cabs are really expensive in Tokyo. I’ve read online that it’s best to stay somewhere nearby to walk/save on the cab fare but the area isn’t really convenient for tourists as well. Too much hassle for me man.
Also, the outer markets are catered to the consumers/tourists and it is what it is, a tourist trap.
I was warned that the food in the outer markets would be expensive but I thought how bad could it be right? As it turns out, a platter of 6~8 pieces of sushi with various cuts of salmon and/or tuna was easily 2,500 yen (~S$30) and more. There were some donburis of tuna/salmon sashimi to the tune of 5,000 yen (~S$60) even! Thank God that I wasn’t particularly a sashimi lover so I was just happy to pass on all the food and just walk through the outer market.
When I saw this skeleton of the tuna, it struck me that I’ve never seen a real tuna fish as a whole intact before. I didn’t know it was so big!! The truth is, I’ve only ever seen shredded tuna flesh floating in some broth in a can.
So perhaps at some point in my life, I should make the effort to see for myself a tuna fish that is whole and intact right? If you know of anywhere that I can do that, that does not involve taking a cab in Tokyo at 3.00 am (JST), please do share.
You can get to the Tsukiji Fish Market by taking the Toei Oedo Line to Tsukijishio station. One you tap out of the fare gantry, you can smell the fish. I kid you not. Just follow your nose.
If you can’t follow the smell, then get out via Exit A1 and turn right at ground level. You will see the entrance to the fish market almost immediately. This is the legit fish wholesale market. You are free to walk in to take a look but don’t expect anyone to entertain you because it’s for fishmongers. Be careful not to be a nuisance and obstruct all the workers there. The outer market that is more consumer friendly is about 2 blocks down, on the right side.