Tsukiji Market-Tokyo, Japan. Home to the world famous tuna auction where wholesalers bid on blue fin tuna worth tens of thousands of dollars almost everyday. For the lucky few who brave the early morning hour like myself recently it’s a chance to get up close to this unique arena of high stakes bidding on the most prized fish in the world.
The lucky few? 120 to be exact. Some of the guidebooks and online blogs say to get to the information office at Tsukiji markets Kachidoki Bridge gate entrance by 4am. Well things have changed and now I wouldn’t recommend arriving any later than 3:30 to get a spot, I got there at 3:35 and I was one of the last few admitted.
Once in you’re given a map with instructions on conduct in the market and a colored vest to wear identifying you as a guest of one of two groups of 60. I was in the blue vest group, the last to visit the tuna auction that morning.
The room is divided into two for each group. The first is led into the auction area at 5:25 and is allowed to watch for 25 minutes. My team, the blue group goes in last at 5:50. OK, now the wait. For the blue team, almost 2 hours! Bring something to read or listen to because there’s not much to look at in this room.
The green team gets the signal to move to the auction area and my team is less than 30 minutes away from our visit.
The blue fin tuna is the star of Tsukiji but it’s only one of over 400 species of fish and seafood including seaweed, expensive caviar and controversial whale species sold at the market. Almost 3000 tons of seafood is processed everyday-making Tsukiji the largest fish market in the world.
Finally after being in this holding tank for almost 2 hours we were escorted by Tokyo Metropolitan Government security to the auction room. Excerpts from “Ticket To The World’s Most Expensive Fish Auction-Tsukiji Market, Tokyo”.
I am a broadcaster, photographer, writer and videographer with a passion for travel throughout Asia. I love making connections and engaging with people. I am spiritual and seek adventure wherever I go.
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