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Five Things to Do in Tsukiji besides hitting the Fish Market

Sip retro coffee, buy a japanese knife, more...

While the Tsukiji district of Tokyo is world-famous for being home to world’s largest fish market (well over 700,000 metric tons of fish trade hands every year!), it also offers an abundance of stores, restaurants, and markets selling everything from seaweed to flowers. And while the fish market operations are planned to be relocated further down the Sumida River to Toyosu, There are still things to do in Tsukiji that aren't the fish market. Many of the existing shops will remain open for business just as they have for decades until now, continuing to make it a must-see attraction for any foodie and culture lover visiting Tokyo for many years to come.

1. Tsukiji Cooking

For those travelers who are interested in not just eating Japanese food but also learning how to prepare it during their trip to Tokyo, Tsukiji Cooking offers a variety of premium cooking classes in English by professional Japanese chefs right in the heart of Tsukiji. Using only the freshest ingredients obtained from wholesalers and retailers in the neighborhood, participants learn about the basics of Japanese home-style cuisine and prepare meals to eat in a fully-equipped modern kitchen. Customized classes also available; please visit their website for times and more information.

Special Offer: 10% off of standard cooking class fee for FoodiesGoLocal.com registered subscribers–just mention the website when making a booking! (Not a subscriber yet? Sign up here.)

Wind Tsukiji II Bldg. 6F, 6-22-3 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
東京都中央区築地6-22−3 ウィンド築地 Ⅱ ビル 6 階 Tel: 080-5966-4378


 Check out What's Cooking at  TSUKIJI COOKING

 

2. Odayasu

Fantastic pork katsu (deep-fried cutlets) and fried crab croquettes are probably not things you’d expect to find right smack in the middle of the Tsukiji Inner Market, but Odayasu, a nondescript cafeteria-style restaurant with minimal attention paid to interior design, serves these up and more at very reasonable prices (1,200 yen average for a massive set meal with rice and miso soup).

Odayasu, inside the Tsukiji Fish Market--things to do in Tsukiji

 Customers lining up for delicious fried cutlets and crab croquettes at Odayasu inside the Tsukiji Fish Market

A favorite of both market wholesalers and sushi chefs from around the city who are at the market in business, it’s great for those times when you had a little too much to drink the previous night and somehow made it to see the tuna auction but the idea of a sushi breakfast just doesn’t seem to sit right with your hangover.

 A sample of the fried foods on offer at Odayasu: fried oysters, shrimp, and crab

 
 A sample of the fried foods on offer at Odayasu: fried oysters, shrimp, and crab

5-2-1 Tsukiji Chuo-ku, Tokyo
東京都 中央区 築地 5-2-1 築地市場 6号館
Tel: 03-3541-9819
Open: 4am – 1pm
Closed: Sun/national holidays/market closure day

Go Local!

3. Aiyo Coffee

Located right next to Odayasu, Aiyo Coffee is little more than a long counter with some stools where you can sit down diner-style and enjoy a cup of Joe and maybe some toast with jam if you’re so inclined.

Aiyo-coffee -things to do in Tsukiji

What makes this place special is not so much the coffee (which isn’t bad in its own right) but the atmosphere–the moment you step foot inside. You feel like you’ve time-traveled back to Japan’s post-war industrial boom period of the 50s and 60s. From the old rotary telephone to the vacuum tube radio, a seemingly never-ending stream of baseball games and enka (Japanese folk songs) pours forth. Most of the clientele also look like they’ve been drinking coffee here ever since interior was considered contemporary. Definitely an experience not to be missed!

Building No.6, Tsukiji Market, 5-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
東京都 中央区 築地 5-2-1 築地市場 6号館
Tel: 03-3541-2140
Open: 3:30am -12:30pm
Closed: Sun/national holidays/market closure day 

4. Suita Shoten

suita-shoten-things to do in TsukijiThis retail shop, founded over 120 years ago, specializes in kombu, the edible kelp that is a key ingredient for making dashi (fish stock), a staple of Japanese cooking. It is a premium purveyor of the stuff to professional washoku chefs and restaurants throughout Japan and its name is synonymous with quality.

4-11-1 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
中央区築地4-11-1
Tel: 03-3541-6931
Open: 6am – 2pm
Closed: Sun/national holidays/market closure day 

 5. Azuma Minamoto no Masahisa

Looking to buy a Japanese knife or two to cut up all that delicious fish you just bought at the fish market? Or maybe a set to take home and make all your family, friends, and even the chefs at your favorite restaurants green with envy?

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Then look no further than Tsukiji’s Masahisa, home to master blacksmith Mitsuo Ogawa whose ancestors forged samurai swords for the legendary Minamoto clan of Japan’s feudal era. Since its establishment in 1872, this knife shop has been producing some of the highest quality kitchen knives in the world for both professional chefs and serious home cooks. Naturally, such quality comes at a price, but it’s probably safe to say that you’ll never need another kitchen knife (or even be able to find one of similar caliber) again.

4-13-7 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
中央区築地4-13-7
Tel: 03-3541-8619
Open: 5:30am – 3:30pm
Closed: Sun/national holidays/market closure day
URL: Visit their website

Getting There and Around

Tsukiji Market is a 2-minute walk from Tsukiji Station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line or Tsukiji Shijo Station on the Tokyo Oedo Line; it is also easily reached by a 10-minute taxi ride from both Ginza and Tokyo Station.

Written By

Jon Sheer