After much controversy and delay, the wholesale seafood market at Tsukiji finally moved to its new home in Toyosu and it’s now open to public. The new Toyosu Market is very different from its predecessor in terms of setup and visitor experience. Here’s what you need to know before going to the world’s biggest seafood market.
1. Get off at Shijo-mae Station instead of Toyosu Station
The Toyosu Market is 1.6km away from Toyosu Station (Yurakucho line); it will take you approximately 20 minutes to walk there. Instead, transfer to the Yurikamome line at Toyosu Station and alight at Shijo-mae Station. The market buildings are interconnected with the station via elevated walkways. Tip: Sit at the front of the Yurikamome train for the best views as the train makes its way through the city buildings.
2. The market consists of three major buildings
Toyosu Market is made up of three main buildings, all connected to each other via elevated walkways. The Wholesale Market Building is where seafood (including tuna) arrive from Japan and other parts of the world and are auctioned off. The Intermediate Wholesale Market Building caters to retailers and restaurants. The Fruit & Vegetable Building deals in fresh produce.
3. Visitor experience is limited to the observation galleries
While the Tsukiji inner (wholesale) market were open to public after 11am, visitors are not allowed down to the market floor at Toyosu. However, you’ll be able to view the action from the upper observation galleries. It’s a very comfortable experience, albeit it now feels more like visiting a museum than a market. The good news is, there are signboards and visual displays around the windows to help you understand what you’re looking at.
4. It’s now easier to see the tuna auction, sort of
No more lining up at 2am for one of the 120 coveted tickets to witness the tuna auction. At Toyosu, you can just walk into the upper observation gallery in the Wholesale Market Building for an aerial view of the proceedings – just make sure you get there before 6.30am at the latest. For an up-close experience, you’ll have to wait until mid-January 2019; that’s when the observation deck (on the same floor as the tuna auction) is expected to open to public.
5. The restaurants are spread out
The restaurants are spread out across the Intermediate Wholesale Market Building, the Fruit & Vegetable Building and the Management Facilities Building, which you’ll pass through on your way to the Wholesale Market Building. A number of the famed restaurants from Tsukiji has made the move to Toyosu, such as Sushi Dai and Daiwa Sushi. On our visit, Sushi Dai had the longest queue even at 6.50am. But there are more than just sushi at Toyosu; take your pick from soba, seafood-katsu, kissaten coffeeshop and more.
6. You can do some shopping at Uogashi Yokocho
Located in the Intermediate Wholesale Market Building, there’s a floor of shops selling sundries and perishable goods such as kombu, miso, kitchen knives and the likes. You’ll also find a selection of Toyosu Market souvenirs as well as snacks like tamagoyaki and ice cream. This area is open to public.
7. The rooftop garden has an amazing view
Before you leave, head up to the rooftop garden on the Intermediate Wholesale Market Building. It has a breathtaking panorama of the Tokyo cityscape across the bay, plus one of the best views of the iconic Rainbow Bridge. It’s also surprisingly peaceful up here.
Toyosu Market is open from 5am to 5pm, and closed on Sunday, public holidays and selected Wednesdays. The operating hours for restaurants and shops vary. For more information on Toyosu Market, check our listing here.