A center of Japanese cuisine. The world's best fish market, and it never sleeps!
Tsukiji, located along the Sumida-gawa River, lies next to Ginza, Tokyo's famous downtown area. For most people, what springs to mind first when they hear the name 'Tsukiji' is the Tsukiji Market, also called 'Uogashi' (fish market). This market handles the largest volume of fishery products in Japan, and dealing in more than 450 kinds of products, such as tuna, around-the-clock makes this market unique throughout the world. At 5:00 a.m. the 'seri' (auctions) begin, and by around 8:00 a.m. the market is at its most lively, with fish shop and restaurant people crowding in to buy fresh products from the specialized dealers.
In contrast, the general public comes to do their shopping in the peripheral shopping area known as 'Jou-gai' or off-market. The period from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. is the busiest time there, and you can buy not only fresh fish, but also many other items, including meat, rolled omelets and professional cooking utensils, or even grab a bite of breakfast. Among the dishes offered is the popular 'maguro-don,' a big bowl of rice topped with slices of raw tuna. There is also a great array of sushi restaurants in the area to tempt you. After your meal, why not take a walk to the neighboring Hama-rikyu Gardens, a Japanese garden with beautiful ponds and flowers.
There are many other attractions in Tsukiji, which became a gateway to western culture in the 19th century when Japan started trading with foreign countries. The Tsukiji Catholic Church and St. Luke's International Hospital were already standing at that time. Tsukiji Hongan-ji Temple, designed in the ancient Indian style, is also a building not to be missed. The twin towers of St. Luke's Garden are a new symbol of the town, and from the observatory on the 47th floor, you can enjoy romantic night views.
[Rail] 1h from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station by JR Narita Express Line.
[Air] 1h from Itami or 1h 10 min from Kansai International Airport to Haneda Airport.
[Rail] 2h 30 min from Shin-Osaka to Tokyo Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line (Nozomi).
From Tokyo to Hamamatsucho Station by JR Yamanote Line, and to Tsukiji-shijo Station by Toei Oedo Subway Line. Or a 10-minute walk from Tsukiji Station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line).