Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market closed just a few decades shy of a century in business. It moved to a new location at Toyosu Fish Market, just a few miles from where Tsukiji was. There’s a much more modern operation there and they’ve improved a lot of things in terms of welcoming the public as visitors to experience a unique part of Japanese culture. We have left this post up as a nod to what Tsukiji once was and in case anyone finds it wanting to reference information about how the market used to function or take a trip down memory lane.
Please note Tsukiji Fish Market has closed as of fall 2018, and Toyosu Fish Market is open for business including public visitors.
Below is our post reporting on Tsukiji Fish Market, now just a wonderful memory from trips to Japan! We’ve peppered in updated information from research as it pertains to the new market in Toyosu.
We recommend you access the island area of Toyosu is Tokyo via public transportation due to lack of sufficient parking to support all its visitors and traffic into and out of the area. The Tuna Auction is now viewed from viewing decks above the market. The lower deck you need a reservation in advance, booked online. The upper deck opens to the public at 5:00am (the auction happens between 5:30am to 6:30am) and, as we understand it, you do not need a ticket for that viewing area (just the lower one).
Applications to the lower deck at the Tuna Auction at Toyosu Fish Market open about two to three weeks in advance. (Scroll to the bottom of the page for English and click through as desired to make a reservation in advance).
Three buildings comprise the new market: one dedicated to fruits and vegetables and two for seafood.
If you’re interested in a guided tour of the market, for an enhanced experience, consider these options:
- Tuna Auction Viewing and Insider Tour at Toyosu Fish Market (3 Hours): begins at 4:45am and includes a stop at the upper tuna auction viewing platform. There is a ten person tour maximum.
- Tsukiji Old Market Versus Toyosu New Market Secret Tour (4 Hours): starts at 8:30am, includes lunch, food tasting and visit to a Buddhist Sensō-ji temple in Asakusa. There is a four person maximum for this tour so book in advance!!
- Fish & Soul: Insider Tour at Toyosu Market (5 Hours): chef guided tour begins at 8:00am and does not necessarily include Tuna Auction viewing since it’s after the market finishes for the day. However, this tour grants you access to a guided visit to the seafood wholesale market floor and ability to shop for fresh ingredients for the included lunch.
- VIP Tuna Auction Watching and Insider Tour at Toyosu Fish Market (4 Hours): price of the tour grants you access to the exclusive wholesale-only portion of the market and tuna auction viewing. It includes hotel pick up and coffee or tea, snacks and breakfast. It has a ten person tour maximum.
Truly Tokyo has a thorough post on the new market including how to get there.
Frozen fish, auctioneer chatter and the hustle and bustle of one of the most famous fish markets in the world can overwhelm anyone. But with a little organization and pre-planning you’ll learn how to ace your visit to Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market in Japan. It’s an incredibly unique place with the freshest fish I’ve ever seen (and tasted), a world renown tuna auction, some restaurants, and vendors selling fruits and vegetables. And it’s not-to-miss.
Here are answers to FAQS to help you ace a visit too:
- How much does Tsukiji market cost? Access to both the market area and tuna auction are free (as of spring 2017). Restaurants and personal purchases, of course, cost money.
- What type of footwear is accepted? It seems the safest best is close toed shoes. High heels and sandals are not permitted. Also note the market is wet in many areas as the market is hosed down with water at least once a day from what I understand. High heels and slick surfaces don’t mix well!
- We will be on our way to the airport. Can we bring luggage? Rolling luggage or other oversize bags are not permitted in the market.
- Does the market allow small children to visit? From everything I’ve read they do not. After being there it’s evident it’s a safety precaution as I can imagine how dangerous it would be – to a child and workers – if a child accidentally tried to roam around the auction or the market. Strollers are also not permitted.
- Can we bring a camera? Yes. Flash photography is simply not permitted.
- Do we have to go to the tuna auction to access the market? No, you do not. The restaurants and markets are open to the public. Operating times vary.
- Does the market ever close? Yes. The market is closed Sundays, Japanese national holidays and some Wednesdays. For a more specific calendar visit the official website, linked below. As far as operating hours within a day it is open, it seems it is open to the public in varying capacities from 5:00am to 11:00am.
- Reminder as of April 2019: Tsukiji Market closed its doors in October 2018 after over 80 years in its location. It’s relocated to eastern Tokyo to Toyosu Market.
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post, which means we may earn a small commission if you click the link and proceed with a purchase. We only recommend products or services we personally use and recommend.
Heading to Japan? Also check out:
- 20 Surprising Things to Love About Japan
- What It’s Like to Stay in 9 Hours Pod Hotel in Shinjuku Japan
- 12 Must-See Inspiring Photos of Kyoto Japan
Would you wake up early to attend the tuna auction?