Toyosu Fish Market

Tokyo's new fish market, hosting tuna auctions

After the iconic Tsukiji Fish Market closed to the public in 2018, it reopened at a new location shortly after. Hence, Tokyo’s new fish market, Toyosu Market, was born. Here’s everything you need to know about Tokyo’s new fish market.

From Tsukiji Market to Toyosu Market

Tsukiji Market was the largest fish market in the world, famously known for its tuna auctions. The closing of Tsukiji Fish Market after 83 years, marked the end of an era. In October of 2018, the inner market, including the Tuna auction, was officially relocated to the Toyosu waterfront. Toyosu Fish Market doubled the size of the Tsukuji Market, allowing more room for vendors and visitors.

Many people mistakenly think that the Tsukiji Market is completely closed, but that is not true. The outer market still remains in Tsukiji Market. It features numerous shops and restaurants with local bites. It’s still a popular destination for locals and foodies as it’s the epicenter of many food tours.

  • Inner Market: Toyosu
  • Outer Market: Tsukiji

What to see at Tokyo’s Toyosu Fish Market

Toyosu Fish Market is divided into three buildings: the Fish Wholesale Market building, where the famous tuna auction takes place, the Fish Intermediate Wholesale Market building, which houses many restaurants as well as a beautiful rooftop garden, and lastly, the Fruits and Vegetable Market building, where fresh produce is sold.

1. Fish Wholesale Market Building

The Fish Wholesale Market Building is home to the world-famous tuna auction. It is held from 5:30 am to 6 am every morning, except on Sundays and holidays. The tuna auction is, without a doubt, the primary reason for people to visit Toyosu Market. The other side of the building is used to selling fresh seafood. You can easily find your way around the Fish Wholesale Market, thanks to different floor colors. Are you standing on a white floor? You are in the seafood section. Are you standing on the green floor? You’re about to see some gigantic tuna being sold. The reason for the different colors is pretty simple. Buyers determine the quality of tuna by checking their red meat. Since red is the complementary color to green, it’s much easier against the backdrop!

2. Fish Intermediate Market Building

A visit to the Toyosu Fish Market is no complete without a fresh sushi breakfast or lunch. Most restaurants inside the Fish Intermediate Market are open from 5 am until noon or early afternoon. Since most of the seafood offered here comes directly from Toyosu Market, it is considered one of the best places in Tokyo to feast on fresh seafood. Some popular restaurants include Daiwa Sushi and Sushi Dai. However, due to their popularity and out-of-this-world sushi, be prepared for long lines, even before 6 am.

Uogashi Yokocho Market is the place to stock up on all sorts of Japanese products and souvenirs at over 70 shops. However, no seafood or fresh fish are offered at the market. You will rather find high-quality knives, wasabi grates, and other kitchen tools, as well as fruits, nuts, sake, tea, and souvenirs here.

Should you need a break from the crowds or just some fresh air, use the stairs or the elevator and head up to the rooftop garden. Here, you will enjoy a great panoramic view over Tokyo Bay. On clear days, you may get lucky and even catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji! In addition to the views, you can visit the Uogashi Suijinja Shrine located on the roof. It literally translates into “shrine for a fish market on the shore”.

3. Fruit and Vegetable Market Building

Visitors can get an insight into the hall and its corridors through large viewing windows and a viewing platform. Personally, I think a short visit is enough here. Since you can not enter the wholesale market and experience the auction from close-up, it’s not very exciting.

How to see the Tuna Auction in Tokyo

In order to see the tuna auction, you could just wake up early, head to Toyosu Market, grab your visitor pass and watch it. You will have access to the upper floor. However, you won’t be able to fully experience the auction as the deck is encased with glass that does not allow you to hear anything. Further, keep in mind that you are not the only one willing to wake up early to watch the spectacle. There is a guarantee that it will be crowded. You are lucky if you get to see little bits of the auction. It will be a little easier, however, if you attend the Tuna Auction as part of a guided tour (see Toyosu Market tours below).

Planning ahead is everything!

For the best tuna auction experience, you have a second option: seeing it from the upper or from the lower observations deck. In order to see the auction first-hand from the lower observation deck, you need to enter an online lottery one month prior to your visit. To give it a shot, you need to fill out a form that requires basic information as well as three dates on which you would like to see the tuna auction.

If you’re lucky, you will receive an e-mail, confirming one of the dates and a time slot for your visit. Now, all you have to do is be at the meeting point (3rd floor in the Fish Wholesale Market Building) on time along with your ID or passport. It is the best way to watch the tuna auction in Tokyo because you will actually be able to hear the auction from here. What’s also nice is that only a maximum of 40 people is allowed at a time.

Toyosu Market Tours

For me, tours are the way to go! I would take a tour of everything I visit if that were possible. It’s simply the best way to learn and get local insights. When exploring different cultures, food tours are my favorite. Toyosu Market and Tsukiji Market are the best places for food tours in Tokyo! There are three tours in particular that I can recommend. Some including market visits and food tastings, others include the famous tuna auction or a sushi-making class. Check out the details below to see which one you like the best! Be warned: food tours at fish markets start quite early!

1. Toyosu Market & Tsujiki Market Tour

Toyosu Market Food Tour

This food tour covers both Tsukiji and Toyosu Market, meaning you can experience both, old and new. It is the perfect way to get a taste of Japan’s best seafood and other traditional bites. You will surely be spoilt with all the options. Samples are included in this tour and, believe me, you won’t leave hungry. While munching on your snacks, you will learn interesting facts about the fish markets. Even though the tour starts st 8:30 am, it is one of the later ones and great for those, who don’t want to wake up at 5 am.

  • 3.5 hours
  • 8:30 am start
  • $110

The tour includes:

  • professional guide
  • transportation between the markets
  • lunch (samples of Japanese food as you go)

book tour

2. Tuna Auction and Food Tour

Tuna auction in Tokyo

As I already mentioned, you will need to be an early bird for a day if you want to see Tokyo’s famous Tuna Auction. This tour starts at 5:30 am so you can experience the famous Tuna Auction. The nice part about this tour is that you won’t have to fight for a spot because your guide will take care of everything and also provide you with interesting facts. You also won’t leave hungry! Breakfast is included in the tour and you can also stay for lunch if you hadn’t had enough.

  • 3 hours
  • 5:30 am start
  • $116

The tour includes:

  • tuna auction
  • professional guide
  • breakfast
  • hotel pick up and drop off

Book tour

3. Sushi Class and Toyosu Market Tour

Toyosu Market Tour and Sushi Class

This half-day tour has raving reviews. Why? It’s a full experience that goes beyond visiting Toyosu Market. On this tour, you will shop for fresh ingredients at the fish market, before heading to your sushi-making class. While learning about sushi from your sushi master, you’ll sip on different types of sake. In the end, of course, you can indulge in your very own sushi.  The price is quite hefty, but includes the class, a visit to the market, as well as beverages and pick up/drop off at your hotel. The skills you will learn during this experience will stay with you forever and will earn you lots of compliments back at home – guaranteed! Be sure to read some more reviews before booking.

  • 4 hours
  • 5:30 am start
  • $473

The tour includes:

  • professional guide & chef
  • cooking class, including ingredients
  • sushi lunch
  • beverages
  • hotel pick up and drop off

Book tour

Toyosu Fish Market Hours

The Toyosu Fish Market is open from 5 am to 5 pm, except on Sundays and public holidays. While admission is free, you do need to pick up a visitor pass to enter the buildings. They will be laid out on a table, so you can simply grab them.

How to get to Toyosu Market

Toyosu Fish Market is located near Shijo-Mae Station (Yurikamome Line) in Tokyo’s Koto District, which is about a mile east of Tsukiji’s, the former fish market location. If you choose to visit in the early morning, the train will not be running yet. While taxis are not exactly cheap in Tokyo, it’s the best way to get to the market in the early hours. You are looking at approximately $55 from Shinjuku to Toyosu Market, plus a night time surcharge of 30% which applies between 11 pm and 5 am.

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