Tokyo’s Toyosu Market is one of the biggest fish markets in the world and famous for its lively tuna auctions. These early morning auctions have become a popular attraction, where visitors are allowed to watch the proceedings from two different locations. The first is just a passageway overlooking the hall, but the other is a special observation deck on the same floor as the auction. Entry is free for both viewing spots, but the latter requires advance reservations as only 27 people per day are allowed to watch the auction from this close-up angle.
How to book your spot to see the tuna auction
Reservations for the tuna auction observation deck have to be made online in advance. Bookings for tours in December are available between November 2 and 8. You can make a group reservation for up to three people. A lottery system will be implemented if bookings exceed the number of available slots, but you’re allowed to apply for three different dates to increase your chances. Tours take place daily until December 24, except on Wednesdays and Sundays, and you’ll be notified of your application status via email on November 17 at 6pm.
Bookings for January onwards will be announced at a later date on the website. Note that the entire booking process is in Japanese only.
What to expect at the tuna auction
On the day of the tour, you’ll be asked to arrive no later than 5.45am at the Promotional Corner on the third floor of Block 7’s Management Facilities Building. For the exact location, download the English Toyosu Market map here. The tour starts at 5.55am and you’ll be allowed to watch the tuna auction until 6.25pm.
Some safety measures will also be in place at the market. Masks are a must, hands need to be sanitised upon arrival, and your temperature will be checked on entry. Don’t forget to bring your passport or zairyu residence card to confirm your identity.
If you’re craving a hearty breakfast after seeing all the fresh seafood, drop by one of the many restaurants at the market that are open from 5am to 3pm.
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