The Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market (aka Tsukiji) is ground zero for the seafood consumed in Tokyo. It’s like a stock exchange for fish. While the city is sleeping (except for other tourists like yourself), the Fish Market is filled with boats unloading fresh seafood, wholesalers, representatives from restaurants — and the curious. Breakfast on sushi before starting to explore Tokyo; poke around the shops and stalls filled with fresh and dried fish, cooking implements, and a mulitude of other items; one word of caution: the Fish Market sells fish — if you prefer to remain ignorant of your dinner’s origins, don’t look at the massive displays (ranging from whole tuna to items known mainly to marine biologists) too closely.
We prefer our fish live and in aquariums. And we glossed over the recommendation (warning?) about visiting the Fish Market. Nope, we certainly wouldn’t be making that excursion.
But we were wide awake at 5 a.m., showered and dressed by six…and eager to experience Tokyo. So…we accepted the inevitable and boarded the subway (my…we were overconfident!) and headed for Tsukiji (at Tsukiji Station, take the Honganji Temple exit). We found the Fish Market…and spent several hours wandering, lost and enthralled. We had a nice cup of coffee in a small stall. We had a nice breakfast in another (where they took one look at us and pulled out the forks and knives — we must have looked clueless).
We wandered and wondered (and, I think, had visions of returning again) before making our way to the other attractions of the city.