Fruit, vegetables, flowers and meat are also sold here, but it's seafood – around 2000 tonnes of it traded daily – that Tsukiji is most famous for. The frenetic inner market (jōnai-shijō ) is slated to move to Toyosu by late 2016; the equally fascinating outer market (jōgai-shijō ) comprising hundreds of food stalls and restaurants, will stay put.
Before setting off here check the market's online calendar to make sure it's open, and for instructions on attending the tuna auctions, which start around 5am.
Visitors begin pitching up for one of the 120 allotted places for viewing the tuna auctions from around 3.30am at the Fish Information Center in the northwest corner of the market. It's on a first-come, first-served basis so it pays to get here well before the first batch of 60 visitors go in to see the auctions between 5.25am and 5.50am; the second batch is from 5.50am to 6.15am. As public transport does not start running until around 5am you will either need to walk or take a taxi to the market this early in morning.
If you show up later in the morning there's still see plenty to see. The intermediate wholesalers area is open to visitors at 9am. Shops in the Uogashi-yokochō – a cluster of tiny restaurants, food and souvenir stalls within the jōnai-shijō – and shops in the outer market are open even earlier and don't shut down until around 2pm.
Exercise caution and respect when visiting Tsukiji so as not to spoil the opportunity for future visitors. Large groups, babies and young children are prohibited from the inner market.