The Tsukiji Market is broadly divided into two sections – the Tsukiji Fish Market (also known as the Inner Market), and the Outer Market.
While not many people may know about this distinction, they are very different both visibly and operationally. Here’s how.
Tsukiji Fish Market (Inner Market)
This is the place which you hear about all time, the largest fish market in the world with it’s famous tuna auctions.
It’s at its most active very early in the morning until around 8am. During this time professionals both on the buying and selling side compete vigorously at auctions to get the best deals. If you’re very lucky you can be part of the group of 120 people allowed in to spectate at the auctions, but be warned, tickets can only be purchased on the day and are in high demand!
After around 8am it begins to calm down a bit, and shops here will begin selling in smaller quantities to the public (including tourists). If you do decide to visit the Tsukiji Fish Market, there’s plenty of water flying around and powered trolleys are always on the move, so be alert and nimble – vehicles have right of way.
Tsukiji Outer Market
While the Tsukiji Fish Market is more or less entirely aimed at wholesellers, the Outer Market is aimed at the public, being made up entirely of small individual shops and stalls. And although many of the places in the Tsukiji Outer Market do sell fish, seafood and related products it is not directly related to the Tsukiji Fish Market – other than by being right next door.
Here, you will find a vast array of products ranging from seafood, fresh vegetables and delicacies to pots, pans and sashimi knives. For those who want to grab a quick something to eat there are of course plenty of restaurants too.