A Tour Of The Amazing Tokyo Fish Market Where 2,300 Tons Of Fish Are Moved Daily

Japan fish market

Photo: Jay Yarow/Business Insider

Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market is the largest in the world, with $15.5 million worth of fish sold there on a daily basis.We were in Japan last week and visited the market. It’s a crowded, dingy space where you feel like they’re selling every single fish in the sea. (They practically are: 2,300 tons of fish are moved daily.)

The market was buzzing with activity when we arrived at 4:30 AM, and was winding down by 9:30 AM.

Tourists aren’t allowed into the market before 9 AM, because they get in the way of the men who are actually selling fish, but we snuck in and snapped photos until we were kicked out.

A fish seller stands alone waiting for the rush to start

Around the edges of the fish market are small diners selling breakfast

Here's another peek inside one of the diners

The chef cooks the meals in the back of the diner

Just outside of the market, you can buy non-fish stuff, like knives

Early in the morning, people start unloading the fish from trucks to take into the market

Notice all those white styrofoam boxes in the foreground? Keep them in mind for later

It seemed like these guys in the small box are the ones that collect the cash

Taking an order

Scooping prawns up for a customer

It's not all men! Just mostly.

A sample of some of the stuff you can buy at the market

Doing business

That huge saw is used to cut up big tuna and other fish

Chatting up a customer

An upclose look at one of the main attractions

You see cool, colourful stuff like this all over the place

Bagging up a squid

A look at the market as dawn arrives

Inside the market there are colourful graphics

The guy on the right does the tuna auctions

A happy seller

This was the only female seller we saw in the whole place

The smoker

Tools of the trade

Cleaning off a knife

A bloody mess

A buck of fish heads

On the cutting board

Big mouth

Wrapping up the fish

By 9:30, people are already starting to clean up

What happens to all of that styrofoam? It's stacked into a huge mountain then tossed out.

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