When going to Tsukiji, make sure you head there early!
Currently, all that is left is the Tsukiji’s outer market (shops and restaurants). The inner market that was famous for their tuna auctions and some sushi restaurants have all moved to Toyosu where they opened a new Toyosu Market. Personally, I would pick going to Tsukiji over Toyosu. Tsukiji still has the nice street food vibe whereas Toyosu is mostly a place for wholesale. There’s a really nice observation area where you can watch people buy wholesale tuna in Toyosu, but other than that I would much rather go to Tsukiji.
The outer market is part of the district that is adjacent to the former inner market. It’s basically a few streets of wholesale and retail shops with tons of restaurants. At Tsukiji, you can find many freshly cooked food as well as seafood and food related products. I would compare this to like Bangkok’s night markets (except this is during the day). Spoiler note: I tell everyone to go first thing in the morning! It’s when the food is freshest, workers open at 5AM and the market closes at around 2PM.
Tsukiji offers great place to eat fresh seafood and other treats. There’s tons of choices at Tsukiji and you can often see tourists line up for 2 to 3 hours at certain restaurants.
One of the best sushi restaurants in Tsujiki! They’re very popular for their ikura and uni donburi. I personally love both ikura and uni, but it’s a taste that some people would find it difficult to digest. They serve huge bowls completely topped with seafood. Usually, there’s a huge lineup just to eat there.
This is probably one of the most popular restaurants in Tsujiki. The average lineup is like at least 1 hour long! They’re famous for their Edo-style nigiri sushi and you can get their signature Omakase course! Do note, the average price for one person is around 3,000 to 4,000 yen. This is slightly on the pricer side for lunch but their seafood is supremely fresh!
This restaurant is part of a chain that has several stores around Tsujiki. The Sushi Zanmai Honten is the main branch and is the first Sushi Zanmai store to open in Japan in 1990.
In addition to restaurants in Tsukiji, here are some great street eats you can find in the outer market!
1. Fresh Uni (sea urchin)
Freshly cut uni is available throughout the market! Uni is delicious delicacy in Japan. These are usually sold at around 500 yen per uni.
They have these huge oysters. Usually, they’re freshly shucked over ice and sold in several different stores. These go for around 1000yen per oyster.
They serve these fluffy sweet tamale on a stick in Tsukiji. They’re delicious and one of the most popular dishes in Tsukiji. One serving usually cost 100yen.
4. Uni Charcoal buns
This is the second time I’ve mentioned Uni. As you can see, I love uni a lot. The store serves warm sea urchin buns or red snow crab buns to those who don’t like the taste of sea urchin. The sea urchin buns are around 860Yen whereas the red snow crab buns are 500Yen.