Tsukiji Fish Market
The perfect thing to do on your first day in Tokyo
Ok, fine, jet-lag hits us allâ€¦mostly. The people that say they donâ€™t get jet-lag are huge liars and they are trying to impress you with their â€œI travel so much Iâ€™m over that stuffâ€ attitude. When I hear that I always think: Well, I guess itâ€™s possible that you are such a crystal fiend that you never sleep anyway and those extra dark sunglasses just make you think itâ€™s always darkâ€¦ok, you may not get jet-lag â€¦ feign impressed lookâ€¦â€Wow! You must travel a lot!â€ I always say.
So, for those of you that will admit that traveling to the other side of the planet does affect you more than simple translocation, here is a suggestion for your first day in Tokyo:
Tsukiji â€“ The Tokyo Fish Market
What a place to visit! This is the hub for all the fish sold in Tokyo and it is BIG! Get there early because most of the action is over by 8am. The subway line we took from Shinjuku started at 5am and we got on the first train. (Not a problem since I was up at 2am anywayâ€¦)
Tsukiji has itâ€™s own subway stop on the Hibiya line (â€œHâ€ line and grey on map) and the station is in the lower right of the map (Station H10). (Here is a good copy of the subway map for reference. They are available all over, ask at a hotel for a copy. http://www.tokyometro.jp/rosen/rosenzu/pdf/rosen_eng.pdf) So, exit the station and you are on the outskirts of the market. Look around, itâ€™s not too obvious where it is but there are usually lots of tourists to follow. ï¿½
You will first walk through what looks like a loading dock with lots of trucks moving through it. Remember that this is a working wholesale market and you are the guest here. They seem to have resigned to the tourists walking around but if you behave yourself, they donâ€™t seem to care much.
Then you will get to a number of rows of small restaurants. Make a note of this because itâ€™s a GREAT place to eat a sushi breakfast. Not too cheap but well worth the experience. (Also a good excuse to drink beer at 7am!)
All the rows of restaurants feed you out into another truck loading area. On the other side is the market with hundreds of small stalls. Here you can findâ€¦heck, just about any aquatic creature you could want and some you donâ€™t. ï¿½
Stroll around here for a little while and make your way through to the far side of the market. This is where the big fish are auctioned off.
These fish are all flash-frozen and because of body heat, tourists are not allowed to walk around the fish anymore. But they have made a pathway for us to walk through and check out the action. We watched a few fish sell for over $10,000 but I was told some of them are worth $100,000 each! ï¿½
After this, you will probably be hungry. Go find that beerâ€¦erâ€¦sushi restaurant.
Â Useful link to the Tokyo Subway instructions: http://www.tokyometro.jp/e/tmguide/index.html
A Copy of the subway map: http://www.tokyometro.jp/rosen/rosenzu/pdf/rosen_eng.pdf