TOKYO, JAPAN - JANUARY 05: A general view of the first tuna auction of the New Year at Toyosu Wholesale Fish Market on January 5, 2024 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

© The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images

Toyosu Market

Odaiba & Tokyo Bay

In 2018, Tokyo's central wholesale market moved from its iconic Tsukiji location to this new facility in Toyosu, a structure clearly dreamed up by bureaucrats. The early-morning tuna auction and other parts of the market can be viewed by the public from glass-walled viewing platforms; entry to the market floor is limited to licensed buyers. The upper floors have some shops and restaurants, including sushi counters originally at Tsukiji. Get here early to make the most of your visit.

The market is divided into three blocks (5, 6 and 7), all connected via promenades that also run directly to the train station, and is well signposted in English.

At the tuna auction, naka-oroshi (intermediate wholesalers) gamble on bluefin tuna brought in from all over the world. The auction starts around 5am and finishes by 6.30am. A limited number of visitors can observe the auction up close from a mezzanine-level viewing platform that is only partially shielded by glass. Entry is by lottery, which opens one month in advance; for details see the market website. Otherwise anyone can watch it from the glassed-in corridors on the 2nd floor of block 7.

In block 6 is the produce market; auctions take place here at 6.30am and are also visible from the corridors above. The intermediate wholesaler market – where sushi chefs and fishmongers come to buy from the naka-oroshi – is in building 5. You can peer down into it from windows on the 3rd floor but the view isn't great. Also on the 3rd floor is another collection of restaurants; the 4th floor has shops selling tea, knives, katsuo-bushi (dried bonito flakes), miso and more. Above is a grassy rooftop garden.

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