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Tokyo Fish Market
It's the world's largest and most exciting fish market.
The Tokyo Fish Market is larger than 10 football fields.
More than 50,000 are employed in several dozen trades.
Over 400 different seafood species from around the world are sold. They range in size from tiny sardines to 300-kilogram (650 pound) tuna. Some fish like tuna are frozen while other are still flipping.
A large, prime individual tuna sells on average for US$10,000 - and the record is an astonishing US$396,000 set in 2011. The market's overall sales volume is roughly US$20 million per day, US$5 billion per year.
Tokyo Fish Market's
two main sections
There are an Inner Market and an Outer Market. The first is strictly wholesale and is where the famous tuna auction takes place. The second is multi-functional: Wholesale, retail, and small-eateries.
Because of some badly behaved tourists, the early morning tuna auction is no longer as open as it was when I was there. Nowadays:
There's a limit of 140 visitors per day on a first-come, first-get-in basis. And you must stand in a special visitor area to avoid disrupting the auctioneering process.
Visitors are banned from the tuna auction during peak business periods. They usually span several weeks (such as from mid-December to mid-January).
The 140-person rule applies only to the tuna auction. You are allowed to explore some other parts of the Inner Market (especially after 9am) and the Outer market anytime.
The Tokyo Fish Market is officially closed on Sundays, holidays, and two Wednesdays per month.
The tuna auction begins around 5am and lasts for about two hours. From approximately 8 to 9:30 am, the rest of the Inner Market is bustling - and activity winds down by 11 am.
Location in Japan