The Finest Fish Markets in Japan (Moreover Tsukiji)


Studying by way of articles, journey guides and even official promotional supplies put out by the Japan Nationwide Tourism Group, you possibly can simply get the impression that there’s just one fish market in Japan: Tsukiji Market in Tokyo.

Actually, this bayside shijo (which, till just a few years in the past, was the place town’s “tuna auctions” happened on daily basis at daybreak) is essentially the most well-known seafood market in Japan. However in my expertise touring across the nation, it’s not essentially essentially the most attention-grabbing one.

Whereas my record of the perfect fish markets in Japan is neither complete nor the end-all, be-all, it does provide curious foodies many extra pathways towards culinary discovery than a single morning spend at Tsukiji (or, worse, Toyosu—extra on that in a second).

Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market is Superb, However…

I’ll concede: Tsukiji has positively earned its place among the many greatest Japanese fish markets. Though the tuna auctions have now moved to Toyosu (which is sterile and boring, along with being inconvenient—don’t trouble going there), Tsukiji’s “Outer” Market is a feast each in your abdomen and for the eyes; it’s certainly one of my favourite locations in Tokyo to take footage.

However, Tsukiji Market is all the time crowded, to say nothing of the truth that it usually appears tailored for consumption by international vacationers. There are advantages to this—skill to order in English first amongst them—however when you’re on the lookout for authenticity greater than accessibility, Tsukiji may not be your best option for you. However relaxation assured: I’ve received seven extra, which I’ll record under.

My Favourite Fish Markets in Japan

Omicho Market, Kanazawa


Kanazawa has surged in reputation as a decade in recent times, in no small half due to town’s superlative Omicho Market. Even when you don’t go to throughout the appropriate season for the crab (kani) that well-known comes from this a part of Japan, stroll by way of right here within the morning for an unforgettable seafood breakfast.

Karato Market, Shimonoseki


It might be tough to argue Karato Market is the perfect seafood market in Japan. Nearly nobody visits Shimonoseki, town the place you discover it, in spite of everything. However, it’s positively the perfect place in Japan to strive fugu, aka pufferfish. Cooks listed below are very skilled in making ready the fish, which is poisonous is minimize improperly.

Hakodate Morning Market, Hakodate


Have you ever ever needed to strive the viral “dancing” squid bowl that made the rounds on-line just a few years in the past? In that case, then go to Hakodate Morning Market, which is only a quick stroll from the prepare station in Hakodate, the southernmost metropolis in Hokkaido (and a typically superior place to go to normally).

Kuromon Market, Osaka


I may not characterize Osaka’s Kuromon Market as the perfect Japanese seafood market, just because seafood is simply one of many forms of meals you may eat right here. However, that is positively the perfect place to go in Osaka if you wish to eat a big amount of fish and crustaceans (and native snacks like takoyaki) inside a comparatively small space.

Uo-no-tana, Akashi


If, alternatively, you’re in Osaka and have time for an off-the-beaten-path day journey, set your GPS for Akashi Station in adjoining Hyogo prefecture. Right here you’ll discover Uo-no-tana which, as I’ve written about, would possibly simply be my favourite seafood market in all of Japan (whether or not it’s “the perfect” is as much as your discretion).

Hirome Market, Kochi


One other essential entry on the record of greatest seafood markets in Japan is Hirome Market in Kochi. Positioned only a quick stroll from Kochi Citadel and lots of the metropolis’s high accommodations, Hirome Ichiba is the perfect place to pattern Katsuo-no-tataki, the seared tuna dish that’s town’s (and Shikoku island’s) most well-known meals merchandise.

Nijo Market, Sapporo


Final however not least (and never even actually final) is Nijo Market in Sapporo. Whereas the perfect factor to eat right here is determined by the season, I like this spot as a result of it’s only a quick stroll from Susukino and Odori Park, and can also be comparatively small. You’ll be able to come right here for half-hour or an hour earlier than the remainder of your day within the metropolis begins!

Normal Suggestions for Visiting Fish Markets in Japan

Irrespective of which of those fish markets you select, there’s some recommendation that can apply to all of them. The primary is that it’s nearly all the time higher to go earlier reasonably than later although importantly, you don’t need to go too early. Japan is a immediate nation, however stalls may not be absolutely arrange proper when the market opens. Secondly, many markets are partially or absolutely closed in the future or the weekend—usually Sunday or Wednesday, however be certain to verify.

One other tip? It’s typically considered impolite to eat whereas strolling, not simply in the perfect Japanese seafood markets, however wherever in Japan. Consequently, when you can’t discover a place to take a seat (and relaxation assured, most outlets that promote ready-to-eat meals do have some seating), you need to plan both to face someplace whilst you snack, or to get it to-go (持ち帰る – mochi-kaeru) and take it again to your resort.

Different FAQ About Japanese Fish Markets

What’s the most well-known fish market in Japan?

Tsukiji Outer Market in Tokyo is by far essentially the most well-known fish market in Japan. The stays the case even half a decade after the “Interior” Market (the place Tokyo’s tuna auctions as soon as happened) have moved off-site. Different well-known fish markets in Japan embody Kuromon Market in Osaka and Omicho Market in Kanazawa.

What’s the greatest Japanese metropolis for seafood?

I’m tempted to say that Kanazawa is the perfect Japanese metropolis for seafood, primarily (however not solely) due to all of the scrumptious meals on provide throughout the metropolis’s Omicho Market. Extra particularly, Kanazawa might be the perfect metropolis in Japan for consuming crab (kani) caught contemporary within the Sea of Japan simply offshore.

Is it nonetheless price going to Tsukiji?

Despite the truth that the tuna auctions have been moved in 2018, it’s positively nonetheless price going to Tsukiji Market if you’re in Tokyo. However, I don’t assume that Toyosu (the sterile, purpose-built new market the place the auctions moved) is price visiting beneath any circumstances.

The Backside Line

I hope my round-up of the perfect fish markets in Japan conjures up you to go off Japan’s crushed path, each by way of the meals you strive, in addition to the geography of your journey. Whereas I’ll all the time love Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market, the truth is {that a} stroll by way of there merely scratches the floor of Japan’s wealthy seafood tradition, not solely by way of the meals itself, however the way it’s ready and offered as nicely. Will you make a day journey from Osaka to Uo-no-tana in close by Akashi, or enterprise all the way in which northward to markets in Sapporo and Hakodate? Irrespective of how adventurous you assume you’re, I do hope you’ll contemplate hiring me to plan your journey to Japan.



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