OWL Magazine Korea

Tokyo Fish Market “Tsukiji Market” (Former Market)

Just as Seoul, the capital of South Korea, has the Noryangjin Fish Market, Tokyo, the capital of Japan, also has a similar market named “Tsukiji Market.” Located close to the heart of Tokyo, Tsukiji Market differs from Noryangjin Fish Market in one significant aspect—you need to visit it early in the morning. All the shops open their doors early in the morning and close around 2 PM.

“Tokyo Fish Market, Tsukiji Market”

The history of Tsukiji Market in central Tokyo dates back to the early 16th century during the Edo period. To procure ingredients, Tokugawa Ieyasu brought fishermen from Tsukudamura in Osaka to Tokyo. As these fishermen were brought to Tokyo, they were granted exclusive fishing rights. Those with fishing rights would submit a portion of their catch to the Edo shogunate, while the rest was sold in Nihonbashi, the present location of Tokyo Station. This laid the foundation for Tsukiji Market.

Following the devastating Kanto Earthquake in 1923, Tokyo’s fish market suffered considerable damage. After the reconstruction, the market found its current location in 1935. Since then, Tsukiji Market has been a prominent market with a long and rich history.

“Tsukiji Market, New Market vs. Old Market”

Similar to Noryangjin Fish Market in South Korea, Tsukiji Market has both an old market building and a new market building. When I visited, the new market hadn’t been established yet, so I had the chance to experience and photograph the “old market.” Presently, if you visit Tsukiji Market, you’ll only see the new market.

“Tsukiji Market Divided into Inner Market and Outer Market”

Tsukiji Market is divided into the Inner Market, where wholesalers engage in auctions for their livelihoods, and the Outer Market, a retail market selling various foods and goods to the general public.

Tourists usually visit the Outer Market to enjoy a meal or purchase goods. During my visit, I explored the Outer Market, sampled some snacks, and even had a simple meal.

On the fourth morning of my Tokyo trip, I visited Tsukiji Market. Fortunately, I arrived early enough to witness the bustling crowd that gathers here every morning. The market tempted visitors with various delectable foods displayed all around.

“100 Yen Rolled Omelette”

Particularly, I noticed a crowd lining up at a shop selling 100 yen rolled omelets. This place had been featured on a travel show called “Battle Trip,” where celebrities Sung Si-kyung and Moon Se-yoon visited Tokyo and tried the rolled omelet. Customers could choose between a sweet or savory option. I opted for the savory one, and the generous amount of eggs made it quite delicious.

“Market Setting, but Food Prices Not Cheap”

Considering it’s a fish market, I expected the food prices to be reasonable, but they were not. Perhaps this was due to dishes containing raw fish and seafood, making them relatively expensive. Even in the Tokyo travel episode of “Battle Trip,” where they ate at a Tsukiji Market restaurant, the prices were quite high. To avoid the burden of overly expensive food, I found a nearby restaurant that seemed relatively affordable and satisfied my hunger.

I discovered a restaurant where I could have a meal for 880 yen. While the taste wasn’t extraordinary, it was a relief to have an affordable meal. For an additional 100 yen, I got a refreshing bowl of soup.

After finishing my meal around 2 PM, just before the market closed, I could move on to the next destination.

“Japan, Tokyo, Tsukiji Market”