Tsukiji Market, Tokyo

Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo

Tsukiji Market, Tokyo

This post is part of a series from our recent holiday to Japan. You can read more about our trip by clicking here – Japan With Kids.

I went to the Tsukiji Market in Tokyo twice. The Tsukiji Market is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world.

The first time I went was to attend the live auction. While visitors can attend the market, as it is a fully functional market there are very strict guidelines for visiting:

Visitors’ Rules for the Tuna Auction Observation at the Tsukiji Market

Number of Visitors
Up to 120 visitors per day (On a first-come, first-served basis. No reservation in advance.)

Visitors Registration
(1) Registration Place: 1st Floor of “The Fish Information Center” (By the Kachidoki Bridge entrance).
(2) Registration Time: From 5:00AM.

Tour Times
Visitors are divided up into two groups of 60 according to their order of arrival.
(1) First group visits the tuna auction area from 5:25AM to 5:50AM.
(2) Second group visits the area from 5:50AM to 6:15AM. Source

I ran from our hotel to the market on my own as no one else was keen to get up that early. Unfortunately my notoriously poor navigation skills meant, I did get slightly lost.

While the detour I took cost me only about 5 five minutes in time, I arrived at exactly 5.00am but I missed out on a reservation for the auction :(.

Lesson from me is you would need to get there around 4.30am if you want to get a reservation to see the auction.

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So I went back to the hotel, ran on the treadmill for a while and then returned to the Tsukiji market with the family. The peak of the market activity is before 9am and tourists are not allowed in the market before that.

You are not allowed prams, large bags, open footwear, pets and on a sign at the front of the market it also said small children. We took all five kids with us, the youngest being four and we had no problems.
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There are little machines driving around everywhere, so it was essential to hold on to little hands to make sure they stayed safe and out of the way.
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The kids were fascinated by the fish and seafood, especially seeing so much of it still alive.
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And of course some of it not so alive!
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The outer market has stalls and restaurants to eat at.
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We deliberately chose to go towards the end of the market, we arrived after 10am. The market starts packing up around 10.45 – 11am, so we had plenty of time to see lots, but just with less people.
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And here is a short 75 second video version of our visit! {Click here to see the video if you are reading via email.}

The Planning With Kids family traveled to Japan courtesy of Jetstar.