Tsukiji-shijo Station lies on the Toei Oedo Line in the Tsukiji district of Chuo Ward of Tokyo. It is located to the south of Tsukiji Station, right in front of the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market

Tsukiji is situated on reclaimed land next to the famous downtown area of Ginza. Tsukiji is synonymous with Fish Market, for which the area is most well-known. The official name of the Fish Market is Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market.

Tsukiji Fish Market

The Tsukiji Fish Market of Tokyo is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world. Its history goes back to the sixteenth century when Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first Tokugawa shogun, invited fishermen from Tsukudajima, Osaka, to provide fish to the castle. The fishermen provided fish to the castle, and sold what was left on a spot near Nihonbashi Bridge. This place came to be known as uogashi, or “fish quay”, and developed into a specialized wholesale fish market. In 1918, the “Rice Riots” (riots against food shortages blamed on wholesalers) broke out, after which the Japanese government created various organizations for fair distribution of foodstuffs. The Central Wholesale Market was created in Nihonbashi where the Fish Market was. In the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, when much of Tokyo was destroyed, the market was also affected. After reconstruction of the area in 1935, the fish market, renamed Central Wholesale Market, was moved from Nihonbashi to its present location in Tsukiji.

The wholesale market, still popularly called the Fish Market, covers an area of 56 acres, and is located within a hangar-like building. It is divided into two distinct sections - jonai shijo (the inner market), and jogai shijo (the outer market).

Inner Market, or Jonai Shijo: The Inner Market is the licensed fish wholesale market. It handles more than 3,000 metric tons of fish (worth over $20 million) daily, imported from over 60 countries. The Fish Market is also one of the largest employers in Tokyo, with over 65,000 registered employees, which include wholesalers, accountants, auctioneers, company officials, and distributors.

Action at the market starts at about 3 a.m. when boats, trucks, and planes start arriving from all over the world with over 450 kinds of fish and other seafood. The fish are then unloaded, sorted and placed in rows. The most popular fish is the tuna, which is inspected and numbered. At 5 a.m. the auctions begin and continue till 7 a.m. Only licensed bidders can participate – these include wholesalers who sell their ware within the marketplace in stalls, and agents for retailers, restaurants, and food processing companies. The fish sold to agents is then loaded onto trucks to move on to their next destination, while those sold to wholesalers within the market, is put on small carts and moved to the stalls. At the wholesale stalls, the large fish like tuna, is cut into smaller pieces to be sold to retailers.

The unique atmosphere of the market, with its large variety of fish and seafood, is a popular tourist attraction. Tours to the fish market are available from 10 a.m. to 13 p.m., but it is always best to go early.

Tsukiji Fish Information Center and Museum: The Tsukiji Fish Information Center and Museum is located within the Central Wholesale Market. This small, yet unique museum is dedicated to fish. Here you can find information on all the different kinds of fish and other sea life forms. The museum can be of great interest to those interested in fish.

Outer Market, or Jogai Shijo: The Outer Market surrounds the Inner Market and is a mix of wholesale and retail shops that sell Japanese kitchen tools, restaurant supplies, groceries, and seafood, besides a large number of restaurants, most of which are sushi restaurants. It is said that a trip to Tsukiji is not complete without a sushi breakfast at one of the many sushi restaurants located in this area. Restaurants are open from 5 a.m. to noon.

Namiyoke Inari Shrine

The Namiyoke Inari Shrine is located near the Kaikobashi Bridge in the Tsukiji Jogai (Outer) Market area. The shrine, rightly named Namiyoke (meaning “protection from waves”), was built on the water’s edge in 1657 when Tsukiji was being created by landfill. According to legend, construction of the shrine faced great difficulty when the sea ran high as an image of Inari - the god of commercial prosperity and safe operations at sea - flowed in in the shape of a fox and settled there. Since then, people have had great faith in the image.

Namiyoke Inari Shrine is an unofficial guardian shrine for the marketplace and its traders. Several traders have placed memorial plaques and carvings in the courtyard as a mark of respect to Inari.

Every summer in June, the shrine holds the Tsukiji Shisi Matsuri, or the Lion Festival. The highlight of the Festival is a pair of lion heads carried through the fish market and the rest of Tsukiji district. The lion heads are believed to be another form of god Inari and seeing and carrying them is supposed to bring good luck. A male lion head is carried by men, and a female lion head is carried by women. Each head weighs about a ton and is carried by about a thousand people. The shrine’s main mikoshi is shouldered by both men and women, and is preceded by a monk in red costume riding a horse. The parade is accompanied by music.

Back to Tokyo Area Train Guide
Featured Hotels in the Tsukiji-Shijo area that we represent
Mercure Hotel Ginza Tokyo      
Mercure Hotel Ginza Tokyo (E-18)

Located within walking distance from both the Ginza shopping streets and Tsukiji Fish Market, Mercure Hotel Ginza offers a distinctive French flair and state of the art technology. All rooms feature high-speed Internet access, air-conditioning, safes, mini-bars, in-room movies and satellite TV.

Tsukiji-Shijo Station Area City Guide - Useful information on area shopping, restaurants, activities, things to do and more!
  Activities & Events   Banks   Medical Assistance   Nightlife   Restaurants     Shopping
The Tokyo Travel Information Experts!
Send an email to us at ceo@tokyo-tokyo.com and we will answer any questions you may have about Tokyo.
All content and images copyright . No use of any content permitted without written authorization. Webmaster contact: ceo@Tokyo-Tokyo.com
© 2006Tokyo-Tokyo.com
website by Rossetti International l photography by Jeff Laitila