Tsukiji Market is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world, where more than 2000 tonnes of seafood is sold per day. There are about 480 kinds of marine products and 270 kinds of fruits and vegetables sold at Tsukiji Market.
The market is divided into inner wholesale market with restricted access to visitors and outer retail market that is open to the public. The inner wholesale market is where the famous tuna auction takes place. The number of visitors to the tuna auction is limited to 120 per day. Visitors who want a tour of the tuna auction have to apply at the Osakana Fukyu Centre (Fish Information Centre) besides the Kachidokimon Gate on the day of the tour. Registration starts at 5am on first come first serve basis and reception is finished as soon as the number of applicants reach 120.
Most of the stalls start to close at 11am, so it is best to visit Tsukiji Market early in the morning.
I couldn’t wake up early enough for go for the tuna auction tour, but I had an awesome time touring Tsukiji Outer Market and stuffing myself with all the delicious street food at Tsukiji Outer Market.
Let me show you 15 street food to look out for in Tsukiji Outer Market, many of which are not only tasty but works well as souvenirs too.
Eat at Tsukiji Outer Market: Grill-Flamed Oyster/Scallop/Crab with Sea Urchin (Uni)
For those who do not or cannot take raw seafood but still want to enjoy the fresh seafood that Tsukiji Outer Market has to offer can opt for grill-flamed seafood. There are many such stalls in Tsukiji Outer Market. The seafood are cooked over a hot grill and flamed just before serving. I like that this stall has oyster, scallop and crab to choose from, topped with sea urchin (uni) for an additional kick. Each piece costs around 1000 Yen.
Eat at Tsukiji Outer Market: Oden
Oden is a popular Japanese street food of daikon, fishballs, eggs, potatoes, seaweed konjac and processed fishcakes stewed in a light soy-flavored dashi broth. It is especially popular during winter, the warm dashi broth and ingredients warms up your body. It is sold in most convenience stores in Japan. At 70-150 Yen a stick, it is a cheap snack that all can enjoy.
Eat at Tsukiji Outer Market: Strawberry Mochi
Strawberry Mochi (known as Ichigo Daifuku in Japanese) is a popular spring dessert where soft and chewy is stuffed with sweet red bean paste and fresh juicy strawberry. The sweetness of the red bean paste, the tart sweetness of the strawberry and the soft chewy mochi comes together beautifully. There are various stalls in Tsukiji Outer Market that sells Strawberry Mochi, but I like that this stall has more choices to choose from with regards to the filling. There is Smashed Sweet Red Beans, Strained Sweet Red Beans, Matcha Green Tea, Strawberry Yohguruto, Custard Cream and Chocolate. The regular ones are priced at 300 Yen a piece, while the big ones are 500 Yen a piece.
Eat at Tsukiji Outer Market: Grilled King Crab Legs
Each of these Grilled King Crab Legs are almost as thick as my wrist and it is only 200 Yen per plate, that is so worth it! The sweet and juicy flesh comes off easily, you won’t get messy hands.
Eat at Tsukiji Outer Market: Fresh Oysters
What’s a seafood wholesale center without freshly-shucked oysters, especially when some stalls come with a dashing young chef like this one. Prices range from 300 Yen for small oysters to 1000 Yen for the super big ones.
Eat at Tsukiji Outer Market: Tamagoyaki
Tamagoyaki is a sweet Japanese rolled omelette that is hugely popular in Japan and overseas. This stall called Yamacho allows you to watch as the skilled chef makes your tamagoyaki. There are two choices when you are : sweet and not-too-sweet, each piece of tamagoyaki is served on a stick with optional shredded daikon radish. It is reasonably-priced at 100 Yen a piece.
Eat at Tsukiji Outer Market: Warabimochi
Warabimochi is not your usual mochi, it is made from bracken starch (a type of edible starch) and covered with kinako (soybean flour), black sesame, roasted green tea, baked sweet potato or chocolate powder. You can either get 3 pieces of 1 flavour or you can try 3 flavors on 1 stick for 250 Yen. It is so good, go try it.
Eat at Tsukiji Outer Market: Fried Foods
Japanese people, especially the younger generations, love fried food as rest of the world. Think tempura and tonkatsu. There is a good variety here, from chicken and pork cutlets to fishcakes. Prices range from 260-330 Yen for individual items while boxed sets are priced 500-1600 Yen.
Eat at Tsukiji Outer Market: Pickles
No, I am not asking you to eat pickles as a snack (unless you REALLY like pickles), but it is an experience to sample different pickles such as scallop pickles, cod roe pickles and tuna pickles. Then again, Japanese pickles are usually not too salty, so they actually make for a good snack. At 300 Yen a packet, they make for great souvenirs.
Eat at Tsukiji Outer Market: Maguro (Tuna Sashimi)
Sashimi lovers like myself will crazy in Tsukiji Outer Market. There are many stalls that sell super fresh sashimi. I especially like this stall where I can get to try various cuts of tuna in one plate for just 2000 Yen. I may not have seen the actual Tsukiji Tuna Auction, but this is as close to it as it gets.
Eat at Tsukiji Outer Market: Grilled Wagyu Beef
I don’t think this is a permanent stall but who cares when I can have grilled Japanese black wagyu (kuroge wagyu) for just 1200 Yen per plate? Kuroge wagyu is the world-renowned A5 grade beef, the pinnacle of beef ranking. The beef has such beautiful marbling, every pieces literally melts in your mouth. If you happen to see something like this, don’t pass up on the chance to try Japan top wagyu.
Eat at Tsukiji Outer Market: Fresh Sea Urchin (Uni)
I have heard mixed reviews about sea urchin (uni) from various friends – some love it, some hate it. I went and got myself one and I love it! It is slightly sweet and the wasabi helps to kill the germs. If you have never tried it, you should. Just make sure that it is really fresh, but you shouldn’t have a problem with that in Tsukiji Outer Market.
Eat at Tsukiji Outer Market: Sushi
If all else fails, there is always sushi. Nigiri sushi is most common here and everything is freshly prepared upon order so you can be assured of the freshness.
Eat at Tsukiji Outer Market: Fresh Fruits
After all the walking and eating, refresh yourself with some fresh fruits from the numerous fruit stalls in Tuskiji Outer Market. Everything is beautifully-packaged, it makes me want to buy everything in sight. Look at those bright-red cherry tomatoes and those plump red strawberries, don’t you want to just sink your teeth into them?
Eat at Tsukiji Outer Market: Candies
Are these sushi and flower shaped candies ever so cute? You might not want to snack on these but they sure as hell make for a great souvenir.
There are the 15 street food that you should not miss in Tsukiji Outer Market. Please leave a comment below if I have missed out any Tsukiji street food that ought to be in this list.