Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sushi and beyond at Tsukiji Fish market

Tsukiji Fish market tokyo tuna cutting
I went to Tsukiji several times with friends (both Japanese and foreigners) so I brought my family down for some fresh sushi on their first day in Tokyo. However this post will be a compilation of ALL my trips down to Tsukiji so you can have a better idea of what to expect.

Sushi zanmai

Tsukiji Fish market tokyo sushizanmai sushi zanmai
Sushi Zanmai is a major sushi chain restaurant and their main restaurant in Tsukiji is open 24hours, 365days a year! (Wow, no joke, they work hard!) They also have other branches around Tsukiji but their main restaurant is the biggest. There are three floors and the top floor, which has tatami flooring, is able to accommodate big groups (maybe up to 30 people).

Tsukiji Fish market tokyo sushizanmai sushi zanmai
They won a bid for a huge tuna that weighed 222kg for 155,400,000 yen! Wow...

Tsukiji Fish market tokyo sushizanmai sushi zanmai price
Sushi Zanmai is basically value for money with its fresh sushi at reasonable prices. They also have sushi/sashimi sets but they usually contain a few things that you might not like.

Tsukiji Fish market tokyo sushizanmai sushi zanmai clam miso soup
They have 3 kinds of miso soup but my favourite is clam miso soup. It is REAL meat inside and not the tiny ones that are used in Singapore.

Tsukiji Fish market tokyo sushizanmai sushi zanmai sashimi
Sashimi set looks fantastic, love the sweet Ebi (prawns)

Tsukiji Fish market tokyo sushizanmai sushi zanmai ootoro fatty tuna
This is my favourite, ootoro (fatty tuna) :D~

Tsukiji Fish market tokyo sushizanmai sushi zanmai ootoro fatty tuna grilled
With other grilled sushi :)

Tsukiji Fish market tokyo sushizanmai sushi zanmai anago
Anago (sea water eel) is one of my favourite too!

Tsukiji Fish market tokyo sushizanmai sushi zanmai sazae
We wanted to try Sazae (horned turban shell) but not pay for two, so my friend and I asked the chef to split one sazae into two for us, yummy!

Tsukiji Fish market tokyo sushizanmai sushi zanmai uni sea urchin grilled
And you might recognise this photo from my "Difference between a 20,000yen sushi meal and a 2000yen sushi meal" blog post :P

Sushi dai

Although I am very satisfied with Suzhi Zanmai, one of my Japanese friend said that they will never go to Tsukiji and eat there because this restaurant can be found everywhere in Tokyo. So we went to hunt down a really good sushi stall called Sushi dai:

Tsukiji Fish market tokyo sushidai sushi dai
Unfortunately the shop was TINY and the queue was incredibly long. We were famished and did not want to wait for 2 hours...

Tsukiji Fish market tokyo sushidai sushi dai
So we found another shop with a similar name, also called "Sushi Dai", that has no queue at all.

Tsukiji Fish market tokyo sushidai sushi dai price menu
I like my ootoro so I chose the third set that cost 2,800yen.

Tsukiji Fish market tokyo sushidai sushi dai
This is the traditional way to serve sushi over the counter. Each sushi is delivered to your serving plate one by one as soon as it's done.

Tsukiji Fish market tokyo sushidai sushi dai ootoro fatty tuna
Yes, my favourite ootoro :P

Tsukiji Fish market tokyo sushidai sushi dai seiji ozawa
While eating our sushi, Mr. Seiji Ozawa, a famous Japanese conductor, popped by the store for his late lunch too! He noticed that everyone was aware of his presence so he bowed and smiled to all of us before he left. So nice of him~

japanese sake rice wine
Friend ordered sake (rice wine) and it came like this (sorry we drank finish already :P )

Fish Market

Tsukiji Fish market tokyo
You really got to be here early in the morning. By noon, everything was gone. If you want to go for the auction, you got to go there early (like 4-5am) to queue up as seats are limited. What people usually do is to hang around nearby for late night karaoke then take a cab down.

Other shops not selling sushi/sashimi

Tsukiji Fish market tokyo
Merry Christmas? XD

Tsukiji Fish market tokyo

Tsukiji Fish market tokyo matsutake pine mushroom
You can find these expensive matsutake mushrooms (pine mushrooms) during late September.

Tsukiji Fish market tokyo
BBQ crabs!

Tsukiji Fish market tokyo tamagoyaki fried egg omelette
Cheap cheap omelettes for 100yen!

Tsukiji Fish market tokyo tamagoyaki fried egg omelette
Yummy and sweet!

Tsukiji Fish market tokyo end of year
They have many shops selling seafood and the last weekend of the year is when Tsukiji is the most crowded. You really have to push your way through as people are trying to get their fresh seafood because many stores won't be open during new year. Of course, some would opt to buy the traditional Osechi, which is a special bento that requires pre-ordering from supermarkets/restaurants/online Rakuten store. Osechi basically contains preserved food so you just take it out of the fridge and eat them. This is because the housewife of the family needs a day off too during new year. (PS. Not everyone likes osechi since it is served cold)

Of course, if you have 20,000yen or so to burn, you can always go to Sushikoh :P

*This old fish market will be moving on March 2015 to make way for the Olympics development.*
That's it for my mini Tsukiji guide, be sure to hit that like or share button if you enjoy reading it. You can also follow me on Facebook or Google+ for more updates, thank you! :)


  1. It is really sad history has to move for a showy olympics but i guess it helps their economy thru tourist dollars

    1. They had been delaying the plans for a long time but now they can openly say it is for Olympics… After all, they are sitting on prime central land that is close to Ginza and Tokyo...

  2. For "premium" level sushi, my recommendation for best "value for money" is still Kyubei 久兵衛, which was where the "Gunkan" 軍艦 sushi was first created. The normal omakase set for dinner is about 12,000 yen per person (about 8,000 yen for lunch). By no means is it the "best" sushi around, but most of my friends who have been to the 20,000 yen-course sushi places have said that Kyubei (or Kyubey) is already offering almost the same quality at a much lower price. They would rather visit Kyubei than visit Jiro, which costs 20,000 yen onwards.

    My pick is definitely the main Kyubei "honten" at Ginza. Better to have 1 very good sushi meal at Kyubei than 3 ordinary sushi meals at Tsukiji or some other areas.

    P.S. Kyubei was given a one Michelin star but chose to "return" it the following year as it got too popular and they would rather be less famous than let the quality slip.

    1. Thank you Ying Loong for sharing your sushi pick!
      I will definitely give it a try next time I visit Japan :)

  3. So what was that Christmas tree all about?

    That cheap cheap omelett really sems to be great thing to eat mid afternoon :)

    Great pictures as always

    1. Haha I guess they have too many "cute" scrubs so it would be a waste to just put them away you know ;)

      Thank you for coming back! Eww is still nowhere in sight! @@

  4. Yeah, great report, Eva-san!

    I think that I should visit it before it will be closed.
    I will eat everything in raw 8Ж

    Seiji Ozawa, I admire him. I hope that he will feel better soon and he will back to work.


    1. He looks quite well when we saw him :)
      Actually better than me, I'm always sick :x
      I didn't know that you eat anything raw, even red meat?

    2. Yeah, I read in media that he has a cancer and does not work anymore.

      Ouch, I do not eat raw pork or beef or poultry. I thought it is fish market :P


    3. I heard about that too, but I think he still performs occasionally.

      Haha I thought you meant anything raw any day anywhere! :P

  5. reading your blog makes me hungry.
    no need for late night report...can be eating soon. : p

    1. LOL, I should change from reports to reading my blog then :P
      Thanks for visiting! Bon Appétit!

  6. I've never been to Tokyo. But after saw this mouth watering pictures of sushi, I like to visit Tokyo once in my lifetime to have this delicious sushi.

    1. Sushi in Japan is really great, I miss it so much!

  7. I am really fond of all kinds seafood, thanks for sharing this nice article.

  8. Hi,
    I'll be bringing my parents to Tsukiji !
    But i guess it's hard for us to reach early in the morning..
    so we thought of reaching there around 10am or 11am.
    You mentioned that Tsukiji Market is almost empty by noon, is there still anything to see around there? I see photos of mushrooms, omlettes etc, are these all inside the Fish market, or Fish market only focus on fish auctions and if we're not going there for this, there's no time limitation?

    Sorry for asking so many questions.

    1. Tsukiji has a wet market where they hold the auctions, and the outer area where shops and restaurants are located. So if you reach by 10-11am, the market will be over but you can still walk around the outer area where the shops and restaurants are still operating. However because of the gov decision to relocate the market, some shops have moved out so it won't be as "vibrant" as you see in my photos. Nevertheless it is still a great place to visit with your parents!

  9. Thanks for the informative post and awesome photos! Do check out our Japan Travel Itinerary as well!

    Happy Travels Everyone!

    Tom & Kate,



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