If you're visiting Japan, you want to make sure that you go and take a look at the world's largest fish market, the Tsukiji Fish Market. In English, it's known as the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market and it is the world's biggest wholesale seafood market. It's located in Tsukiji in the center of Tokyo and has grown to be a major attraction for tourists.
It's not only fish that's on the menu, it's also a wholesaler for fruits and vegetables too. It actually handles more than 2,000 tons of seafood every day, you can really only see it to believe it!
The Tsukiji Fish Market contains an inner market where the world famous tuna auctions take place. But due to the overwhelming response from the tourism industry, the market is reaching near capacity and rules have been implemented to ensure that daily business is carried out as smoothly as possible.
This doesn't mean that you can't visit the market, indeed the tuna auction which is the market's biggest attraction allows for 120 visitors every day. But before you can visit this part of the market, you need apply to the Osakana Fukyu Center, known as the Fish Information Center in English. The visitors that successfully apply are allowed into the market in two groups of 60 people. Both groups are entitled to a 25 minute window with the first group starting at 5:25am and the second at 5:50am.
Although the inner market is the real attraction, tourists are also encouraged to take a look at the outer market which is home to a few small retail shops and restaurants. Here you will find one of the best fresh sushi breakfasts in the world!
When you go to the market, remember that it is a live fish market and many people are doing their trade their every day. Make sure that you follow the rules set out by the authorities. Don't enter restricted areas, try not to obstruct traffic. Don't be large bags or suitcases to the market (one wonders why you would?!), don't wear high heels or sandals, small children and pets are obviously not allowed and of course, you can't smoke in market. Finally, and probably the most important rule is to not touch anything!
If you abide by these rules and manage to get a spot on one of the available slots (both of which are filled on a first come first serve basis), you'll be happy that you did. This market has a real flair about it that you will rarely see anywhere. The auctions are energetic, the food is great, and it's undoubtedly one of the more enlightening places to visit in Tokyo.
It's not often that a normal wholesalers market has been turned into a world famous tourist attract, but it has and it's right here in Tsukiji, central Tokyo. It's one of those sights that you really have to see it to believe it! If you're planning a visit to Tokyo, your visit would be incomplete without taking a look at this amazing fish market.
Pic : http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tokyo_Tsukuji_6_053.jpg