Toyosu Fish Market
A visit to the Toyosu Fish Market is a highlight of many Tokyo trips and the tuna auction remains the biggest draw. Watch for free from a gallery above the action (arrive early to secure your spot) or an observation deck on the auction floor. For the latter, you need to apply for access and spaces are limited, assigned by lottery system. The entire registration process is in Japanese, so hiring a local guide or attending as part of an organized auction tour is the ideal way to overcome the language barrier.
Alternatively, visit independently or as part of a small-group or private Tokyo city or food tour to explore the Toyosu Fish Market stalls and restaurants with a local. Some tours combine Toyosu and Tsujiki into one convenient half- or full-day excursion and some also include a sushi-making workshop.
Things to Know Before You Go
Toyosu Fish Market is the place to be if you want to experience the atmosphere of a live tuna auction; it’s free to enter the second-floor viewing gallery.
To access the observation deck, apply in advance; spaces are limited, assigned at random, and you’ll need to bring your ID if selected.
Wear layers and comfy shoes with good grip, as the market is cool, vast, and the floors are often slippery.
Expect to spend around two hours enjoying the Toyosu Fish Market.
Signage at the Toyosu Fish Market is in English and Japanese; there are also language volunteers on hand to help translate the auction experience.
Toyosu Fish Market is accessible for wheelchair users, although those with limited mobility may struggle with long walking distances.
How to Get There
Toyosu Fish Market is situated in the Koto ward of Tokyo, in Tokyo Bay. Well-connected by road and rail, the closest station is Shijomae and trains typically start running to the market around 5:30am. To catch the tuna auction without an organized tour, it’s worth spending the night in a nearby hotel and arriving by taxi in the morning.
When to Get There
Toyosu Fish Market is typically open from 5am to 5pm year-round, with the exception of Sundays and national holidays. The tuna auctions generally run from 5:30am to 6:30am, with the market activity wrapping up by around 8am. Most shops and restaurants (situated on the fourth floor) don’t open until 7am, though, so plan to stay a little longer if you want to experience both the early-morning auctions and grab some food.
Should I Buy Bluefin Tuna at Toyosu?
While the tuna auction is a key part of the Toyosu experience, bluefin tuna is also extremely vulnerable and at risk of extinction from overfishing. While visitors cannot buy cuts of fresh fish at the Toyosu Fish Market anyway, it’s worth reconsidering ordering bluefin tuna in your omakase and sushi dishes at the market’s on-site restaurants and eateries. Instead, look for scallops, skipjack, mackerel, or sustainably caught salmon and squid.
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