Is Tsukiji Still the Same Seafood Haven It Used to Be?

We decided to check it out for ourselves.

The much-debated moving of the 80-year-old seafood wholesale market in Tokyo was big news not only among the long-established entrepreneurs but also to tourists. After the buzz made by the move last November, we decided to revisit Tsukiji and take a look at how much has changed.

Once you set foot at the Tsukiji market, there’s really no obvious change in the area. There are still a lot of locals and foreigners walking around, checking the fresh seafood and ingredients—a lot of them in search of a good deal.

Available fresh seafood and ingredients at the market

You can also ask to have them cooked for you

But what non-wholesalers don’t know is that the good deals are only in the outer market where the retail shops and restaurants remain. The inner market, where the wholesale and the famous tuna auctions occur, has entirely moved to the Toyosu market. Although it may not seem like it, the move has greatly affected the business owners in the area and the wholesalers. Until now, shops open from 5 a.m. until about past noon. And maybe it’s because the actions in the market at 5 a.m. no longer exist, but sales become low during this hour, says one entrepreneur we asked.

So, in case you’re wondering if you should still add Tsukiji to your Tokyo itinerary, we suggest that you still go for it because the market is still alive and kicking—for retailers, at least.

 (25 June 2019)

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