Though Tsukiji's wholesale market has moved permanently to nearby Toyosu, the warren of shops and eateries making up the adjacent Jogai Shijo Outer Market remain. A vibrant mix of street-stall style shopping and fresh cuisine, Tsukiji's Outer Market is a haven for those craving the hustle, bustle and intimate feel of a local Tokyo.
As you make your way through the narrow streets, you'll find yourself side stepping boxes and crates of produce. Not just fish and other seafoods but fruits, vegetables and other hands on goods. Staff setting up for the day's trade diligently go about their business and the cacophony of sounds, sights and smells combine to make one of Tokyo's most famous shopping districts a must-see landmark of the city.
The maze of options and streets here is a direct result of the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. The fishmarket in Nihonbashi was destroyed and operations were then moved to Tsukiji, an area of land reclaimed by the Tokugawa Shogunate in the Edo Period. From 1935 onward, Tsukiji gradually became the place for fresh seafood.
There are now about five hundred shops and stalls tucked in and around the Byzantine-like streets of the Outer Market. Fans of the area flock for the early morning sushi. With the seafood delivered fresh from the wholesale markets at nearby Toyosu, it's no surprise that business is still booming.
There is a bewildering array of options to choose from to satisfy the belly. One that comes in highly recommended is Sushi Okame, a tiny standing sushi bar at the entrance to the Outer Market. Pure blue-collar street food, the fare is simply delicious and extremely well-priced.
Tsukiji's Outer Market is a place of definite historical and gastronomical interest and well worth the visit.