The Tsukiji fish market is world-famous for its high-priced tuna auctions and the throngs of activity that surrounds it. This historic site was on my hit list the last time I was in Tokyo but could never wake up in time to see it. This time in Tokyo I enlisted the help of Japan Wonder Travel tours to not only ensure I get to the Tsukiji Market before closing, but to taste and drink it as well.
Update: Tour info and latest pricing can be found on Japan Wonder Travel’s new website!
Touring Tsukiji Market
My day touring Tsukiji Market started early. Outside the main gates, I was met by Yu and Yoshika, our personal Japan Wonder Travel guides for the day. We began strolling the already busy outer market where visitors were sampling Japanese eats and buying souvenirs. As this area was mainly for tourists we continued on. Japan Wonder Travel has better places for you to eat.
We made our way through the inner market than inside the fish market itself, dodging workers and carts along the way. Yu and Yoshika filled us in as we walked with interesting facts and tidbits I would have missed out on had I toured Tsukiji on my own.
Yu, a former backpacker and world traveller started Japan Wonder Travel as a way to give back to all those that shared their love of their own country with him around the world.
Into the Beast
Heading inside the Tsukiji Fish Market it became clear that having Japan Wonder Travel as our guides was well worth it. This place is huge. 56 acres to be exact. In it, over 1,200 merchants in it share the millions of yen per day that pass through. Rows upon rows upon rows of fresh fish and frozen tuna being prepared right before our eyes. It was something else.
How about those melons?
Watching the tuna auction has become very popular. With limited space, guests must show up around 3 AM a.m. to ensure a spot for the 5 AM a.m. show. After toying with the idea of drinking at a bar till the auction started we decided to pass. We were going to see the backend of things with Japan Wonder Travel and that felt like more than enough. Besides, we got to watch a fruit auction –which is way more exciting than it sounds. An unexpected and awesome bonus.
Tokyo Food and Drink
Of course, there was plenty of sampling eats along the way. From fish cake, to Japanese omelettes, and fresh oysters, this tour is filling.
And what’s a Tokyo food tour without a little (a lot) sake?
Then there was a stop at a famous green tea shop where we sampled some of the freshest Green tea I have ever had. Bonus, the shopkeeper was adorable.
Just in Time
While showing us an amazing view of the Tsukiji Market from above, Yu let us knows that this historic location was moving. After over 80 years the Tsukiji Market is making space for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This just solidifies why you should visit Tsukiji Market now.
If you’re lucky enough to visit Tokyo before Tsukiji Market moves to give Yu at Japan Wonder Travel tours a call. His inside view of this amazing life is worth its weight in tuna.
Tsukiji with Japan Wonder Travel Tours Good to Know
Tour cost: 9,000 yen
Good to know: Market is closed on Sundays, national holidays and some Wednesdays. Check ahead!
Includes: Food, sample, drinks, and an insiders take.
Don’t Miss: Tuna cutting, fruit auction, sake, and sushi!
What say you?
Thoughts on touring Tsukiji with Japan Wonder Travel?
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Although I was provided with a complimentary tour of Tsukiji Market with Japan Wonder Travel tours,
the experience, opinions, and tuna tasting is my own.
Wow those tuna are massive! Too bad you missed the auction but that is really early.
I was pretty happy with what I saw. Besides, there was no way I was getting up that early!