The Tsukiji Outer Market, known as the Jogai Shijo, is Japan’s “Food Town,” where one can encounter all of Japan’s traditional foods. A mixture of wholesale and retail shops along with numerous restaurants line the streets, and new culinary trends are born here. Take a walk around and experience the taste of Japan first hand.
History of Tsukiji: Reclaimed Land
In 1657, Edo (Old Tokyo) was devastated by the Great Fire of Meireki, and the Tokugawa shogunate decided to fill in the coastal area of Edo. Using advanced civil engineering, the land was reclaimed from the Tokyo Bay and named Tsuki-ji (築地), which literally means “constructed land. ” The place used to be quiet with only shrines and homes for Samurai. Then in 1923, the Great Kanto Earthquake destroyed much of central Tokyo, including the Nihombashi Fish Market. The fish market was then relocated to the Tsukiji District and began its operations in 1935, making Tsukiji a prosperous and bustling town. As Japan enjoyed a major economic growth in the 1980s, people all over the world became interested in the Japanese cuisine. The Tsukiji Outer Market has been attracting visitors from all around the globe.
Tsukiji Market: Japan’s Largest Wholesale Market
The Tsukiji Market is separated into two main areas: the Inner Market (Jonai Shijo) and the Outer Market (Jogai Shijo). The Inner Market is the wholesale market for the professionals, and that is where the fish auction takes place. The Outer Market, featured in this brochure, retails some of the fresh seafood and vegetables sold in the Inner Market. Primarily, both markets cater to the professionals, but the Outer Market has recently opened its doors to visitors.
Again keep in mind that the Tsukiji Market is generally for the professionals. For your safety and enjoyment, here are some rules we would like you to follow.
・Vehicles have the right of way.
Cars, trucks and turret trucks are used to transfer merchandise within the market. Please give them priority and stay out of their way. Your safety is our main concern. (Please be extra careful when you are taking photos…watch out behind you!)
・Please do not touch the food.
The Tsukiji Market people pride themselves in providing fresh food to their customers. When fresh fruits, vegetables and raw fish are handled by visitors (and many visitors come to Tsukiji), the merchandise lose their freshness. We hope you understand.
・Bargaining is generally not done.
People aren’t used to bargaining in Tokyo. It is not part of their culture. If you press, you may end up offending the store owner!
・Please be considerate of others.
Restaurants in the Tsukiji Outer Market tend to be small with limited seating. Sometimes even lines form outside. Depending on the time of day, you may have to keep up with the eating pace of the locals. (Yes, they eat fast because they have to go back to work.) Also, splitting meals is generally a taboo during the busy hours.
・The phrase “Thank you!” is welcomed.
People in the market are usually nice, friendly and polite. When the act is reciprocated, you will be greatly appreciated. So please remember to say thank you--“Arigatou!” when someone helps you.