flag Tsukiji Fish Market

a-tsukiji auctionThe Tsukiji Fish Market is , located in Tsukiji in the southern part  of central Tokyo, the largest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world.  It handles over 2,000 tons of marine products per day. Tsukiji Market consists of an inner market where most of the wholesale business and tuna auctions take place, and an outer market whose retail shops and restaurants are open to the public.

The Tuna Auction

Each tuna brought in is marked with red paint, the tail is removed, and a deep slice is cut just above the tail area so that prospective buyers can inspect the tuna before the bidding begins.

The auction begins at 5:30am Bidding can only be done by licensed participants. These bidders include wholesalers who operate stalls in the marketplace and other licensed buyers who are agents for restaurants, food processing companies, and large retailers. The auction usually ends around 7:00am.

The number of visitors to the tuna auction is limited to 120 per day.  If you wish to see the auction, you have to apply at the Fish Information Center, starting from 5:00am on a first-come, first-serve basis.  The first group of 60 visitors will be admitted to the auction between 5:25am and 5:50am, while a second group of 60 visitors will be admitted between 5:50am and 6:15am.

Closed:  Sundays and national holidays

Other areas of the market

If you wish to skip the tuna auction which is held very early in the morning, you should consider visiting the market around 9:00am when you can see trading between wholesalers and retailers.  In addition to the inner market, you can enjoy the outer market which is located just adjacent to the inner market and caters to the public.  The outer market consists of a few blocks of small retail shops and restaurants crowded along narrow lanes.

Closed : Sundays and national holidays

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flag Sumo Morning Training

a-sumo

You can see sumo wrestlers training early in the morning (7am to 9am) at a genuine sumo stable (at no charge). For visitors the experience can be quite exciting. Young wrestlers practice just as if they were participating in a formal match. There are many sumo stables near Ryougoku Station which is located only 20 minutes from Tokyo Station. However, only a few are open to the public. It is important to observe the action using proper manners. Not even whispering is allowed during practice. Closed: Saturdays , Sundays, National holidays and while wrestlers are on the road tour.

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flag Tokyo station

a-Tokyo station

Tokyo station opened in 1914 and survived the Great Kanto Earthquake(Magnitude 7.9) in 1923. Some sections of the station were damaged during the war but they were completely restored to the original shape in 2012. The red brick magnificent building is the gateway to Tokyo. The building uses base-isolating technology to withstand a large scale earthquake. The elegant ornament and shape which remind you of the original one will delight the eye.

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flag Yanaka(Down Town )

Yanaka literally means “ in the valley” between two hills, Hongo and Ueno and is rather a small area to enjoy Shitamachi, old town of Tokyo, walking casually. The area keeps the atmosphere of old days of Edo or Tokyo with least sufferings from the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 or the Air Raids during World WarⅡ.You can find a lot of old shops for merchants or artisans with living space at their back, called “Machiya” architecture, and enjoy shopping there small Edo articles such as Japanese wooden clogs, origami paper, hair accessories, etc. or Edo gourmet food such as noodles, tsukudani(food boiled down in soy sauce), rice crackers, etc..  Also there are a lot of temples and a large cemetery called Yanaka Cemetery.  Most temples were moved from central Edo town after the Great Meireki Fire in 1657.  Many famous people of culture, for example novelists, scientists, artists who had a great impact on Japanese society lie buried in the cemetery.

Please relish the quaint atmosphere and people’s warm heart of Yanaka !

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