Inspecting Sushi at Tsukiji Fish Market and Shopping in Fashionable Ginza, Tokyo, Japan

We had a second day of contrasts in one of the greatest cities in the world. Our day of sightseeing led us to a one hundred year old Emperor’s Castle, and to the heart of what once was the world wide electronics capital in the electronics district of Akihabara. Our day would lead us to discover the different neighbourhood and cultures of Japan, in what makes Tokyo one of the world’s most interesting cities to visit.

This post is one chapter on our second Round the World trip via Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Poland. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) loyalty programs. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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City Visit: Inspecting Sushi at Tsukiji Fish Market and Shopping in Ginza, Tokyo, Japan

This post reflects our visit to the Tsukiji Fish Market and Shopping in Ginza. We also visited the Imperial Palace and the streets of Akihabara, the Meiji Jingu Shrine and Shibuya Crossing, and spotted Cherry blossoms in Shinjuku-Gyoen (Shinjuku Park)

Our travels also took us through the Tsukiji fish market and Ginza. With any visit to Tokyo, a tour past the Tsukiji Fish Market is an interesting way of getting to know the heart of the city.

Visiting the Tsukiji Fish Market:

Tsukiji remains the largest fish wholesale market in the world. We managed to visit the Tsukiji Fish market at its original location before it moved onwards to Toyosu Market in the year 2018. It was located on the river near the Tsukijishijō Station on the Toei Ōedo Line and Tsukiji Station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line.

We took the Tokyo Trains from The Westin Tokyo and headed over to Tsukiji station on the Hibiya Line.

Not as Complicated as it Looks: Tokyo Subway Trains

When it was fully operational, there were two distinct sections of the market, but after the transfer to Toyosu Market, only the outer market remains. The inner market (jōnai-shijō) was the licensed wholesale market, where approximately 900 licensed wholesale dealers operate small stalls and where the auctions and most of the processing of the fish take place. The outer market (jōgai-shijō) was a mixture of wholesale and retail shops that sell Japanese kitchen tools, restaurant supplies, groceries, and seafood, and many  sushi restaurants.

The Tsujiki Fish Market is the largest commercial wholesale supermarket of it’s kind. The Tsukiji Fish Market was pretty packed up by 10 AM at the time of our visit. We didn’t bother getting up for the sushi auction, which probably required a 3:30 AM arrival. There were reports of banning visitors to the inner market (pictured here) but we pretty much walked around unchallenged. 

Tsukiji Fish Market
The Stalls of the Tsukiji Fish Market
Raw Materials available for purchase
Exotic Fish for Sale
Stalls Selling Fish at Tsukiji

The sale of sushi here was a major commercial operation. It is a bit of a wet experience with hoses, fish door and water all over the place. If you plan on exploring, make sure you bring appropriate shoes that aren’t going to be offended by the various odours.

The Halls of the Tsujiki Fish Market

Of course, there are also several wonderful sushi places around Tsijuki. This is believed to be the sushi bar that has been operating for 50+ years and always has a wait, among others in the area. I would have loved to have spent a little more time investigating this area in search of great food stalls for the future.

A popular tourist attraction – Pathways of the Outer Market of Tsukiji

For those that didn’t want to venture inside the market, there was lots in the Outer Market to keep you entertained. There were lots of restaurants, fresh fish sales and the odd souvenir stand.

Exotic Fish Sales
Lobster and Crab Sales
Food Stalls at Tsukiji

Shopping in Ginza:

Completing the Tsukiji Fish Market adventure, it was time for a little retail therapy for MrsWT73. We headed up to nearby Ginza, the elite shopping district of Tokyo, Japan. It is a popular upscale shopping area of Tokyo, with numerous internationally renowned department stores, boutiques, restaurants and coffeehouses. It is considered to be one of the most expensive, elegant, and luxurious shopping streets in the world.

We continued onto Ginza, a short walk away, for more shopping, and a visit to the country’ flagship twelve story Uni Qlo store. Ginza is the main shopping district of Tokyo and has many department stores here. While the street may be reminiscent of the Champs Elysees in Paris, Fifth Avenue in New York, or Oxford Street in London, the shopping experience is remarkably similar to everywhere else.

The Upscale Streets of Ginza
Streets of Ginza
A Twenty Floor UniQlo Store
Retail Heaven in Ginza

We picked up a few items for heading back to the hotel, our Japanese souvenir shopping mission accomplished. Our time in Ginza was more of a nice to have experience, versus a need to have experience. It might be higher up on your list if you were looking for a unique article of clothing that represented your Japanese experience to bring back home.

Our day at Tsukiji Fish Market and Shopping in Ginza :

Visiting the Tsukiji Fish Market has always been on my travel list as a place to visit. I was happy to have experienced this historic market before it closed. It is a bit of a messy experience so make sure you don’t bring your best shoes. I’d plan on exploring some of the sushi restaurants in the immediate area on my next trip through. Our time in Ginza was nice to have experience, although I can’t say that I’d be in a tremendous rush to return to one of the world’s greatest shopping streets.

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