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Tsukiji Outer Market

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

4-chōme-16-2 Tsukiji, Chuo City, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 2:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Sugara
Local tour guide
"For a truly authentic experience at Tsukiji Outer Market in Tokyo, arrive early in the morning when the market buzzes with local chefs and food enthusiasts for the freshest selections—around 9 am is ideal, as the tourist crowds haven't quite swelled and it's the perfect time for a sushi breakfast. Also, don't miss the chance to try some of the local street food delicacies from the small carts and stalls; the tamagoyaki (Japanese omelette) here is a local favorite and a must-try."

What is Tsukiji Outer Market?

The Tsukiji Outer Market, known in Japanese as Tsukiji Jogai Shijo, is a vibrant and bustling marketplace adjacent to where the former Tsukiji Inner Market once operated as one of the world's largest wholesale fish markets. While the Inner Market, primarily dealing with fish wholesalers and the famous tuna auctions, moved to Toyosu and became the Toyosu Market in 2018, the Outer Market remains in its original location and continues to thrive by offering a unique blend of culinary delights, fresh produce, and an array of food-related goods. Here, both locals and travelers alike immerse themselves in an authentic slice of Tokyo's culinary culture.

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The market features hundreds of small shops and stalls, and it's a food enthusiast's paradise. From fresh seafood, seasonal vegetables, and fruits to specialty condiments, kitchenware, and even precious tea leaves, the Tsukiji Outer Market is a microcosm of Japanese cuisine. More than just a place to buy ingredients, it's a social hub where chefs, foodies, and residents mingle, sharing their love for good food and fine ingredients.

Have you ever savored a piece of sushi where the fish was caught just hours before? At Tsukiji, that's not just a possibility; it's an expectation. Dotted among the retail stalls, you'll also find small eateries serving up some of the freshest sushi, sashimi, and other local dishes you'll find anywhere in the city. These culinary havens are often the go-to places for Tokyoites seeking a breakfast that packs a flavorful punch.

History of Tsukiji Outer Market

The story of Tsukiji starts in the aftermath of the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923. The then-primary fish market in Tokyo, located in the Nihonbashi district, was devastated. As part of the city's reconstruction effort, the market was relocated to Tsukiji, and thus, Tsukiji Market was born. It officially opened in 1935 and soon established itself as a cornerstone of Tokyo's daily life, providing succulent seafood to the masses.

While the Inner Market's relocation to Toyosu was met with mixed feelings, the Outer Market managed to preserve its old Tokyo charm and continues to operate on the same grounds it has for decades. This incredible survival story adds to the area's unique character. The legacy of Tsukiji lives on through the Outer Market, with its narrow lanes filled with the shouts of vendors, the clinking of kitchenware, and the undeniable aroma of fresh fare ready to be savored.

As a historical centerpiece in Tokyo's gastronomic scene, Tsukiji Outer Market has witnessed not only the evolution of Japan's culinary traditions but also the emergence of modern food trends. Each shop tells a story; some have been in the hands of the same family for several generations, molding the market into a living library of Tokyo's food culture. And unlike the clinical ambiance of modern supermarkets, Tsukiji offers something truly organic: a sense of community, a dash of nostalgia, and an unfiltered experience of Tokyo's beating culinary heart.

Why is Tsukiji Outer Market Important?

Tsukiji Outer Market is regarded as an emblematic landmark in Tokyo for several reasons. It's not only a place where transactions take place, but it's also a symbol of Japan's respect for food and the meticulous care that goes into preparing it. The market stands as a testament to the importance of freshness and quality in Japanese cuisine, a principle evident in every slice of sashimi and every neatly arranged produce stall.

More broadly, Tsukiji represents the preservation of traditional Japanese market culture within an ever-modernizing city. Visiting Tsukiji is almost like stepping back in time and offers a unique contrast to the high-tech image of Tokyo. For local chefs and culinary professionals, it's a hive of inspiration and a cornerstone for the high standards that drive Tokyo's world-renowned gastronomy scene.

For tourists, the market is an unmissable destination that offers a direct route to understanding Japanese culture through the universal language of food. The market's continued operation amid the surrounding urban changes showcases the resilience and adaptability of Tokyo's small businesses. It has become an essential venue for cultural exchange, where stories, recipes, and smiles are shared as freely as business cards at a networking event.

Things to Do & See at Tsukiji Outer Market

Exploring Tsukiji Outer Market can take you on a multitude of adventures, all within the span of a morning. I often tell visitors to start with a hearty sushi breakfast at one of the many sushi bars, where you'll be treated to some of the freshest nigiri you've ever tasted. Each piece of sushi is a work of art, crafted with years of expertise.


After satisfying your taste buds, take a leisurely stroll to visit the specialist shops. Seek out stores selling handcrafted knives—a must for any aspiring chef—or those specialists in Japanese tea, where you can learn about the intricate world of this ceremonial drink. Don't miss the opportunity to watch skilled professionals filleting fish with precision or preparing traditional Japanese omelets known as tamagoyaki—a captivating sight.

For a more hands-on experience, there are cooking classes available, where you can learn to prepare sushi or other Japanese dishes from seasoned chefs. Many of these classes are offered in English, making it a breeze for international visitors. Also, consider signing up for a guided market tour to have an insider's peek into the history and hidden corners of Tsukiji—the narratives behind each alley and shop façade are as rich and varied as the market's offerings.

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Finally, Tsukiji Outer Market is also home to annual festivals and seasonal events, which are excellent opportunities to engage with the local community. The spirited atmosphere during these times is infectious and truly showcases the soul of Tsukiji. All in all, whether you're a food lover, cultural enthusiast, or just someone curious about the Japanese way of life, Tsukiji Outer Market presents an experience that engages all senses and leaves a lasting impression.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Tsukiji Outer Market?

The Tsukiji Outer Market is a vibrant and bustling commercial area in Tokyo, Japan, which was part of the famous Tsukiji Fish Market. It is known for its wide variety of fresh seafood and produce, as well as food stalls and restaurants where visitors can enjoy fresh sushi and other Japanese delicacies.

Where is the Tsukiji Outer Market located in Tokyo?

The Tsukiji Outer Market is located in the Tsukiji district of Tokyo, which is easily accessible via public transportation. It is situated just outside the former inner wholesale market area, which was relocated to the Toyosu Market.

What can you do at the Tsukiji Outer Market?

Visitors to the Tsukiji Outer Market can explore the many shops selling seafood, produce, and kitchenware, eat at one of the numerous sushi bars and restaurants, and enjoy street food snacks. It's also a great place to experience traditional Japanese food culture and watch the market's lively activities.

What are the operating hours of the Tsukiji Outer Market?

The Tsukiji Outer Market typically opens early in the morning, with most shops and restaurants starting business around 5 AM or 6 AM, and closes in the early afternoon, around 3 PM. It is advisable to check the specific hours for individual shops as they may vary.

Are there guided tours available for the Tsukiji Outer Market?

Yes, there are guided tours available for visitors who wish to learn more about the history and cultural significance of the market, as well as explore its offerings with an experienced guide. These tours often include tastings and insights into the best places to eat within the market.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

4-chōme-16-2 Tsukiji, Chuo City, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 2:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps