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Japan own the busiest and the biggest Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo

Updated on September 2, 2012
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Tsukiji fish market tuna auctions

This place is perhaps one of the most favorite tourist destinations in Japan. When you visit Tokyo, you might want to spare your time to visit this awesome place and get up earlier, than you used to.

Really? I am talking about getting up at 4.30 am and head for the infamous Tsukiji fish market. Why so early?

Because you don’t want to miss and witness the main attraction this fish market is famous for. You probably need to reach the market by 5 am because you don’t want to miss the live tuna auctions.

These tuna auctions are somehow exclusive in term of the prospective buyers, because only 120 people will be able to join and place bids, and there will only 2 sessions at 60 people each.

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Getting up early and head to Tsukiji fish market

So the faster and the earlier you get there, the higher the chance that you can get your spot in the bidding war, and register at fish information center at Kachidoki gate.

However make sure to get there at 4.30 am even though you are not going to take part in the tuna auctions.

Just seeing how people place bids on fresh caught tuna, is really amazing, the intensity, the competitiveness, and showing how serious Japanese treat their seafood with utmost respect.

What an incredible culture, they never stop to amaze me. Still there are a lot more this market can offer other than the tuna auctions itself, and again I really have to remind you that it is better to get there earlier.

In case you only can reach there by 9 a.m then there are almost nothing to see, because business activities will already have slowing down around that time.

Tsukiji Fish Market Map

A markerTsukiji fish market, Chuo, Tokyo, Japan -
Tsukijishijo Station, 5丁目-2 Tsukiji, Chuo, Tokyo, Japan
get directions

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If tsukiji fish market provide so many fresh seafood, can you eat raw fish on the spot?

The answer is absolutely 100% yes, since you can find sushi outlets all over the place and you can choose just any one of them, or ask locals which one is the best for you to have your sushi breakfast.

Try to walk around the fish-mongers area and you can see different sea-food species available for you to buy.

You can also walk your way out off the fishy part area and go for the outside section.

Look for the narrow street market, where you can find and buy different items from vegetables and of course seafood ingredients.

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How important fish in Japan really is?

Japan is perhaps the number one nation in the world that consumes seafood the most. The sea surrounding Japan, have both cold and warm current, the two boundaries where usually fish are swimming around most of the time.

Hunting whales was not an exception to fulfill the people of Japan need on seafood. Whales were really over-hunted during 1980’s, there were almost 2800 of whales caught and serve as food source as well as a number of variety of secondary products.

Fortunately in 1987 Japan stopped the hunting for whales due to endangered species issue arose at that time.

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How big fish from Japan being consumed?

About 7.5 billion metric ton of seafood every year or around 10% worldwide consumption. You see, how big fish from Japan consumed?

This number shows how serious Japanese treat their seafood and how deep they have been involved in the food culture that Japan has been so proud of for centuries.

People from around the globe would have been consumed Japanese style food, and 90% of what they have eaten would involve seafood.

I am a sushi enthusiastic myself, and I think there is no other nation in this world take their seafood approach to the highest level of both culinary art and experience that Japan able to carry out.

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Would consumption fish of Japan affecting the worldwide market price?

Since they are the number one and the biggest fish-eating country in the world, automatically, they indirectly controlling the market price for seafood. In recent years China has surpassed Japan in the number of fish caught.

However the difference is on the type of fishes caught. While fish of Japan people would rely heavily on those caught from sea. On the other hand, China caught their fish mostly from fresh water off fish farms. So again despite China has surpassed Japan in term of number caught, still Japan rank number one in term of seafood consumption in the world.

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Never ending Japan fish market evolution

There are a lot of commercial fish companies in Japan. The most popular sea fish are tuna and bonito. Almost 70% of the fish caught locally in Japan, and the rest are imported from outside.

Study shows that each person in Japan would consume around 30 kilograms of seafood on yearly basis. There is no country in the world can get closer to this number.

Scandinavian countries come in the second place where each person would consume around 15 kilogram of seafood each year.

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    • zsobig profile image

      Sophie 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Wow, I'd love to visit this market once.

      So far the best fish market I've ever visited was in Croatia on a nice island and that market was full of shrimps, my favourite 'snack'. I loved the whole atmosphere, I wish I could visit it again!

      Voted up + interesting!

    • greeneryday profile image
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      greeneryday 4 years ago from Some tropical country

      zsobig , Hi, wow you have visited Nice island of Croatia? I've never been there before, thank you for sharing and for the vote...cheers

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Good report. I have never heard of Tsukiji before. It must be awesome

    • greeneryday profile image
      Author

      greeneryday 4 years ago from Some tropical country

      Mhatter99 the fish market indeed awesome... thank you...

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