Tsukiji Fish Market – a sushi lover’s dream

If you love sushi, and you are lucky enough to be in Tokyo with jetlag there is no better way to feed your fish fetish than a visit and a meal at the Tsukiji Fish Market. This market is the largest fish and seafood market in the world. Interestingly enough it is more of an attraction for tourists than locals, but as I was a tourist and one that adored sushi, for me it was a must-see!

Some posts on this site contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!). Opinions are always my own and I’ll never promote something I don’t use or believe in.

I was staying at the Royal Park Shiodome Hotel in Ginza, which is only a 10-15 minute walk to the market. Unfortunately, the first morning I was in Tokyo was a rest day and the market was closed, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t get sushi!

Alley-with-Kiyomura-restaurant
Alley with Kiyomura restaurant when I arrived

At 5:30 a.m., I headed over to the market, my desired location being Kiyomura situated in the small streets next to the market. They are open 24/7 and serve sushi non-stop (my kind of place).

My favorite kind of sushi is maguro (tuna) and that just so happened to be the specialty of the house. I ordered the maguro selection which came with several variations and grades of tuna served in a variety of ways.

Maguro-Special

I was in sushi heaven. After finishing this plate off, I ordered a few other items to try and enjoyed relaxing with copious amounts of green tea as well as a bit of people and sushi-chef watching. When I could roll myself off the bar chair, I headed out to the market.

Alley-with-Kiyomura-restaurant
Alley with Kiyomura restaurant when I left!

Even though it was closed, I wandered around the market and snapped a few photos in preparation for when I would return the next day. I wanted to have before and after pictures.

Here are some of the before the chaos:

Tsukiji-fish-market-on-rest-day

Tsukiji-fish-market-on-rest-day

Tsukiji-fish-market-on-rest-day

Tsukiji-fish-market-on-rest-day

The next morning at 6:oo a.m. (still jetlagged) I headed to Daiwa Sushi in Alley 6 for a sushi breakfast in the market. This restaurant has only 6 stools and has waits of over one hour. Because it was 6:00 a.m. and the sushi gods were in my favor, I was able to walk right in and get a stool!

I started with the chef’s choice, a 7-piece selection that I gobbled and savored and relished every bite of. After that the fun began and the sushi chef kept offering different items all direct from the market, hot off the presses so to speak!

It may be incredibly repetitive to say, and I am sorry, but was just so darn good, so fresh it melted like butter in your mouth. For a sushi lover it was nirvana. I could have died right then a happy woman (although having Mr. Misadventures sitting next to me enjoying the meal as well would have been over the top).

After breakfast I headed to the market, which was in full, swing. It is a matter of life and death to remain alert and out of the way of the workers. One moment of distraction or letting a motorized cart, a worker with a large piece of fish, or even a small car, could hit your guard down and you. This is a busy working market and you can never forget you are just a tourist and in the way.

Photos from the working day:

Tsukiji-fish-market

Tsukiji-fish-market

Tsukiji-fish-market

Tsukiji-fish-market

Tsukiji-fish-market

But oh is it fascinating! And despite being completely full from breakfast there were many things that I wanted to eat. Everything looked beautiful, appetizing, and there is that word again, fresh. If you were thinking that the fish market must smell awful you would be wrong. Fresh fish doesn’t smell like fish, it just smells like the ocean.

Can you say second breakfast:

Tsukiji-fish-market-prawns
Gorgeous prawns, the color is amazing!
Tsukiji-fish-market-maguro
$5 for a box of freshest you can get maguro – you are on!
Tsukiji-fish-market
How about some crab?
Tsukiji-fish-market hamachi
Super fresh hamachi
Tsukiji-fish-market tako
Tako or octopus, I’ll take a slice!

After wandering around a bit I headed back to the hotel to prepare to go to the office, after all it was only 8:00 and I still had an hour to kill before most people begin work in Tokyo!

Despite many trips to Tokyo, it was the first time at the Tsukiji Fish Market and I honestly believe that I can never come back to Tokyo without stopping here to eat sushi, after all, what else are you going to do at 5:30 in the morning?

22 Comments

  1. Amy75
    December 27, 2010

    I’m drooling! That hamachi looks delicious. That’s something I don’t see on the menu in Paris. Maybe I’m not going to the right places.

    Reply
    1. Andi
      December 28, 2010

      @Amy75, really, no hamachi? I never noticed!

      Reply
  2. Rebecca
    December 28, 2010

    Yum! My visit to the market was the first time I ate sushi for breakfast – and it was delicious!

    Reply
    1. Andi
      December 28, 2010

      @Rebecca, I completely agree!

      Reply
  3. Andi
    December 28, 2010

    I don’t think you could pay me enough money to have sushi for breakfast, especially at 5:30AM. Love the pics though! 😉

    Reply
    1. Andi
      December 28, 2010

      @AndiP, you might change your mind 😉

      Reply
  4. melita
    December 28, 2010

    oh my!! i am a sushi lover and i am also very, very jealous. 🙂 big hugs!!

    Reply
    1. Andi
      December 28, 2010

      @Melita, it was amazing!

      Reply
  5. Carolyn Jung
    December 29, 2010

    You never think you’d crave raw fish at 5:30 a.m., do you? But wow, when it’s that fresh and the atmosphere just eggs you on, you just gotta do it. I’m so envious you got to experience this. I’m still hoping to some day, some day…

    Reply
  6. SushiTail
    February 14, 2011

    I admire your determination. I lived in Tokyo for five years and I always wanted to check out the market in Tsukiji, but I could not get up early enough to go.

    Reply
    1. Andi
      February 14, 2011

      @SushiTail, all you need is jetlag!

      Reply
  7. wandering educators
    March 1, 2011

    i LOVE sushi, i love tokyo, i love the fish market. fantastic photos – and you SURE made me hungry!

    Reply
    1. Andi
      March 1, 2011

      @Jessie, easy to do when you are talkin’ sushi!

      Reply
  8. Stephen Frick
    March 2, 2011

    Thanks for the info, My wife and I love sushi. Looks like a great place to visit to get the freshest and best sushi in the world.

    Reply
    1. Andi
      March 2, 2011

      @Stephen, I can attest, it was definitely fresh!

      Reply
  9. tacogirl
    March 2, 2011

    Your pictures look heavenly and made me wish I was there to enjoy some delicious sushi. Thinking I need to get better at making it to satisfy my cravings here in Belize.

    Reply
    1. Andi
      March 2, 2011

      @Tacogirl, why thank you! Seems to me you can get great seafood that is fusioned with a latin thing!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top
shares