Tsukiji Fish Market

. Chūō ku 中央区 Chuo Ward "Central Ward" .


Daruma Pilgrims Gallery


Tsukiji Fish Market

Tsukiji fish market (Japanese: 築地市場, Tsukiji shijō, tsukiji shijoo) is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world and also one of the largest wholesale food markets of any kind. The market is located in Tsukiji in central Tokyo, and is a major attraction for foreign visitors (few Japanese casually visit the market).

The first market in Tokyo was established by Tokugawa Ieyasu during the Edo period to provide food for Edo castle (nowadays Tokyo). Tokugawa Ieyasu invited fishermen from Tsukudajima, Osaka to Edo in order to provide fish for the castle. Fish not bought by the castle was sold near the Nihonbashi bridge, at a market called Nihonbashi Uogashi 日本橋魚河岸 (literally, "fish quay") which was one of many specialized wholesale markets that lined the canals of Edo (as Tokyo was known until the 1870s).

In August 1918, following the so-called "Rice Riots" (米騒動 kome soodoo), which broke out in over one hundred cities and towns in protest against food shortages and the speculative practices of wholesalers, the Japanese government was forced to create new institutions for the distribution of foodstuffs, especially in urban areas. A Central Wholesale Market Law was established in March 1923.

The Great Kantō earthquake on September 1, 1923, devastated much of central Tokyo, including the Nihonbashi fish market. In the aftermath of the earthquake, the market was relocated to the Tsukiji district, and after the construction of a modern market facility was completed in 1935, the fish market began operations under the provisions of the 1923 Central Wholesale Market Law.
Three major markets in Tsukiji, Kanda and Koto began operating in 1935. Smaller branch markets were established in Ebara, Toshima, and Adachi, and elsewhere. At present, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's system of wholesale markets includes more than a dozen major and branch markets, handling seafood, produce, meat, and cut flowers.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


- - - Fish Market at Nihonbashi
Utagawa Hiroshige

The Official Tsukiji Homepage

It is said that "Uogashi" or a riverside fish market dates back to the 16th century, the beginning of the Edo period. Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first Tokugawa shogun and builder of Edo as is now Tokyo, invited fishermen from Tsukudajima, Osaka and gave them a privilege for fishing in order to let them supply seafood to Edo Castle. The fishermen purveyed fish to the Castle and sold the remains near the Nihonbashi bridge. It was the origin of Uogashi.

Then, to meet the growing demand for fish with the increase in population, Nihonbashi Uogashi was reformed and developed into a market. The market was lead by wholesale merchants licensed by the Shogunate who bought fish from local ports, sold them to jobbers in the market and thus built up a large fortune, forming their own distributing network. Vegetables markets handling vegetables gathered in the suburbs of Edo were established in Kanda, Senju and Komagome: the Edo's three big vegetable markets. The markets attained prosperity led by wholesalers and jobbers like fish markets.

During the Edo period the market price was determined chiefly by negotiated transactions between sellers and buyers. Public auction was hardly taken place except in vegetable markets. In the Meiji and Taisho eras, the privilege of wholesale merchants were abolished. In 1923 some 20 private markets in Tokyo were destroyed almost completely by the Great Kanto Earthquake. After the earthquake, Tokyo City as it then was undertook to construct a central wholesale market on the bases of the Central Wholesale Market Law which had been promulgated in the same year. As a result, the three markets of Tsukiji, Kanda and Koto were founded and the growing population then led to a succession of new markets.

Tokyo Central Wholesale Market handled 787,782 tons (2,888 tons a day) of marine products, 748 billion yen (2.8 billion yen a day) total in 1993. Some 450 kinds of fish are received; this figure is unparalleled in the world. Marine products sections are set up in three markets: Tsukiji, Ohta and Adachi. Above all Tsukiji Market, handling 87% of the total amount, is one of the biggest markets in the world.

December 2008
Various problems have arisen in association with the increased number of tourists (including sanitation management problems such as temperature control issues caused by the entry and exit of large numbers of unauthorized persons, and problems with visitors impeding the auction and other trading activities), especially at the early morning auction held in the tuna wholesale area.
For these reasons, tourists are currently not allowed to enter the tuna wholesaling areas.

source : www.tsukiji-market.or.jp


CLICK for more English information
Tsukiji: The Fish Market at the Center of the World
Theodore C. Bestor
University of California Press, 2004 (ISBN 0-520-22024-2)


To cut the large maguro tuna fish, there are specialists with long knives of more than two meters, almost a sword, handled by two persons to cut a fish very efficiently.
maguro knife, maguro boochoo マグロ包丁
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

A knife with two handles is used by one person to cut pieces out of the filets of maguro.

A knife with a stopper is used by one person to cut smaller pieces, to make sure they do not cut themselves, since it takes a lot of power to push the knife through the hard skin and muskles of the fish.

There are specialists who sharpen the knives every day after use.

smaller maguro knives, kaitai boochoo マグロ解体包丁

Cutting a large maguro is sometimes performed for tourists.


CLICK for more photos

In the precincts at the North end there is a small shrine in honor of the God of Water, 水神さん suijin san. This is a female deity who protects fishermen and is the protector of this fish market. The famous kabuki actor Ishikawa Danjuro comes here to worship and celebrate his strong connection to his supporters of the market. They even offered an opening curtain to the Kabuki theater.

Danjuro painted a poster for the festival of the day of the fish, toto no hi 魚の日(ととのひ)
CLICK for more photos
Poster by Ichikawa Danjuro 市川団十郎

toto, 10月10日, the tenth of the tenth months.

The famous Kabuki play of Sukeroku 助六 (すけろく)relates a story of the old uogashi fish market of Edo, where the hero wears the famous purple headband. It is one of the favorite roles in the Ishikawa repertoire.
. . . CLICK here for Photos of Sukeroku !

The deity venerated at the shrine at Tsukiji is Mizuha Nome no Mikoto 彌都波能賣神 ミズハノメノミコト, a child of Izanagi no Mikoto, founder of Japan.
An annual festival 水神祭 is held in his honor.
The present mikoshi carried around was re-constructed in 1928.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

. Sukeroku 助六 - Hero of Edo .

Another famous person from Uogashi :
. Isshin Tasuke 一心太助 the fishmonger of Edo .

Suijin, the God of Water 水神 Mizu no Kamisama


The building looks almost like a train station, in the fashon of the Museum Musée d'Orsay in Paris, with rounded beams and decoration parts in the iron columns. It is in the form of a fan to make room for a connecting train system to transport the fish. Today thousands of huge trucks come and go to carry the fish.

Inside a lot of small electric cars with special capacity to turn around on the spot carry the fish from here to there.

CLICK for original LINK and more photos

Most stores continue for many generations and even if they are contestants in the business, most are old friends. The daily auctions of tuna and other fish are a small war, but when it is over, it is done and they help each other and learn from each other. Spotting a good fresh maguro and go for it in an auction is a task usually done by the elders with a lot of experience. The language of their fingers as they communicate with the auctioneer, all over within a few minutes, it is a spectacle in itself and draws many tourists.


Shrine Tsukiji Namiyoke Inari Jinja

"protection from waves"

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Build almost 350 years ago, when the sea of the area was filled with land for the city building of Edo after the Fire of Meireki in 1657.

It is an Inari shrine that was built on the water's edge when this part of Tokyo (then Edo) was created from landfill after the Meireki Fire of 1657.
One night the workers saw a strange light and took a boat to investigate. They found a part belonging to an Inari Fox Shrine 稲荷大神 for worship. When they came back, they errected a shrine to honor the Fox Deity and prayed for protection at sea.

When the fishmarket of Edo was relocated to Tsukiji in 1923, this shrine was also relocated to protect the area and the business.

There are special Haiku Offerings at this shrine during the Setsubun festival in February.

波除稲荷神社 Homepage


Tsukiji hatsu kotoba asobi wa go shichi choo

it originated in Tsukiji ...
playing with words rhyming
five seven pfive

月路乃京泉 Title of a Book


. Nihonbashi 日本橋 "Japan Bridge" in Edo / Tokyo   

WASHOKU ... Japanese Food SAIJIKI

Fish Market, a haiku topic

Daruma Pilgrims in Japan


- quote -
Tokyo Tsukiji Hotel Building (Tokyo Tsukiji Hoteru-kan)
Tsukiji Hotel is the first western-style hotel in Japan built as a foreign residence in Tsukiji.
The appearance of this hotel became highly praised as a new famous spot of Tokyo that would usher in a new modernity, and many sightseers came to visit. Artists also competed to capture the hotel in nishiki-e (colored woodblock prints).
The artist Utagawa Yoshitora (1828-1888) was famed as a painter from the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate until the middle of the Meiji period. His greatest works were the drawings known as Yokohama-e (pictures of Yokohama) and kaika-e (enlightenment pictures), which captured the new customs before and after the Meiji Restoration, and this work is a part of the kaika-e.
The official name for the Tsukiji Hotel is the Edo Hotel and in this painting the upper section of the western-style architecture can be seen over the outer surroundings. There is a script saying "with a frontage of 40-ken, depth of 42-ken, height of 9-jō 3-shaku" and from this we can grasp the scale of the main building.
Unfortunately this Tsukiji Hotel building burned down only four years after completion and was accordingly called the "Hotel of Illusion" but its name is left in history as the building that represents the dawn of a new era from the closing of the Tokugawa Shogunate to the opening of the Meiji period. The place where the Tsukiji Hotel stood is now where the multi-story car park of the central wholesale market is.
- source : Tokyo Metropolitan Library -



- #tsukiji #fischmarkt -


Anonymous said...

There are hundreds of small shops in the inner market (Jonai-shijo) and the outer market (Jogai-shijo), such as sushi and various food. You can have reasonable and delicious breakfast or lunch here.

The Tsukiji Market is one of Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Markets and is known as the largest wholesale market in Japan. Visitors are allowed in the inner market, but tuna wholesale areas are closed to visitors during the early morning hours.

Anonymous said...

TSUKIJI Fischmarkt
Tsukiji Bluefin Tuna First Auction
The battle over a bluefin tuna that sold for ¥9.63 million at the first auction of the year at Tokyo's Tsukiji market ...

January 11, 2009
Tsukiji to reopen tuna auctions to public after tourism ban

Read the Details.

Gabi Greve - Uogashi pdf said...

The History of Nihonbashi Uogashi
By Issei Tomioka

The Uogashi was epitomized by Edokko, or people born and raised in central Edo.
Uogashi fish wholesalers were those Edokko who had economic power and the
distinction of having been designated purveyors of fish for the shogunate. These
wholesalers acted as patrons of Edo's popular culture. In contrast, young men
working at the Uogashi represented the dashing and swashbuckling Edokko.
Whether good or bad, the behavior of both types of Edokko had an impact on Edo
What role did the Uogashi play in the history of Edo’s common people? Let’s
look at the people and a few incidents to get a feel for the atmosphere of the

Gabi Greve - Uogashi 3 said...

Part 1:
The Birth of the Wholesale Fish Market


Part 2:
The Popularity of Fish in Edo


Part 3:
Fish Traveling to Edo

Fish-eating culture blossomed in the city of Edo due to an abundant supply of
seafood from Edo bay. Lively trading took place every morning at the Uogashi to
meet the demand of the fish-loving people. What made such a large-scale business
possible? Where did the fish traded at the Uogashi come from? Let’s trace
the course of seafood distribution during the Edo period with a look at both the front and back sides of the Uogashi.


Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Edokko (江戸っ子, literally "child of Edo")

iki いき / イキ / 粋 / 意気 the CHIC of Edo

Gabi Greve said...

Toyosu Food Market 豊洲市場 “Toyosu Shin Shijo”
and its problems since Autumn of 2016


Gabi Greve said...

more about Tsukiji 築地 and Kabuki    
and tsuiji 築地 fences


Gabi Greve said...

Shin Sakanachoo 新肴町 Shin-Sakana Cho, Shinsakanacho district
"New Fish Village - Market"

Before Tokugawa Ieyasu came to Edo, there was a small fishing village at the Hibiya Inlet, Rogetsumura 老月村.
As the town of Edo begun to grow and more and more people needed food, especially fresh fish, Rogetsu-Mura became a well-frequented fish market.
But in 1627, the Hibiya region was restructured and the land came under the control of the Bakufu government. Rogetsu-Mura was relocated near the Sotobori canal and renamed
"New Fish (market ) Village".江戸魚市場めぐり-新肴場 Shin Sakanaba -
「新肴場」、略して「新場」New Market と称しました
The major fish market at 魚河岸 Uogashi was then called 「古場」 Old Market
There is also a bridge now, the
新場橋 Shinbabashi bridge.
Nearby is the
Momijidoori もみじ通り Edo Momiji-dori Avenue.