This is an invitation to a tasty and lively food experience at the No. 1 market, Tsukiji. The place is a treasure trove of delicious seafood, so let's sample some of the ’catch of the day’, sold fresh or skewered and grilled at the store front!
At your central Tokyo hotel or at any station convenient for you in central Tokyo
Pick up / meet up
Tsukiji market stands at the pinnacle of seafood supply for the Tokyoites, with the supreme quality and diversity of goods sold. It has a reason: Tsukiji was the world's No.1 fish and vegetables market until 2018, when its wholesale section was moved to Toyosu. The retail section and a part of the wholesalers remained in Tsukiji, and the place is bustling with ordinary customers and professionals as before. Ideal place to have sushi or sashimi!
We cannot end this tour without a visit to Namiyoke Shrine, which has been the guardian shrine of Tsukiji for more than 350 years ever since the land around this place was reclaimed from Tokyo Bay. The strong ties between the shrine and the market are well reflected in the peculiar monuments that are found in the shrine precincts.
After the visit to Namiyoke Shrine, you have several options:
①stay a little longer in Tsukiji for shopping/lunch. I will show you some good shops/restaurants. (Please note that lunch is NOT included in the itinerary, so once you are happily settled, that will be the end of the tour.)
②head to a nearby tourist spot, such as Ginza or Tsukiji Hongwanji Temple. Ginza is Tokyo's most expensive and elegant shopping district just two stations away from Tsukiji. If you would like to find a very special souvenir, this might be the place to look for. Instead of Ginza, we can visit Tsukiji Hongwanji Temple, a Buddhist temple located just across from the Tsukiji market. The architectural style of the Main Hall is very unique, having an ancient Indian style exterior and a traditional Japanese style interior, with a touch of Western influence.
End of the tour
At the place of last visit or at a pre-arranged place
Tsukiji market stands at the pinnacle of seafood supply for the Tokyoites, with the supreme quality and diversity of goods sold. It has a reason: Tsukiji was the world's No.1 fish and vegetables market until 2018, when its wholesale section was moved to Toyosu. The retail section and a part of the wholesalers remained in Tsukiji, and the place is bustling with ordinary customers and professionals as before. The shelves are packed with seasonal goods of superior quality that cannot be found elsewhere, and sampling them would be a good introduction to understanding our rich food culture.
Namiyoke Shrine has been the guardian shrine of Tsukiji for more than 350 years, ever since the land around this place was reclaimed from Tokyo Bay. The strong ties between the shrine and the market are well reflected in the peculiar monuments that are found in the shrine precincts.
After the visit to Namiyoke Shrine, you have several options:
①If you prefer to stay in Tsukiji for shopping or lunch, I will show you some good shops/restaurants. There are many sushi shops in Tsukiji, but simply buying a box of sushi at the market, you can have an equally good lunch at the rooftop space with a great view --- and on certain days they provide rooftop BBQ, too! (Please note that lunch is NOT included in the itinerary, so once you are happily settled, that will be the end of the tour.)
②If you prefer to head to a nearby tourist spot, we can visit either of the followings:
・Tsukiji Hongwanji Temple is located just across from Tsukiji market. The architectural style of the Main Hall is very unique, having an ancient Indian style exterior and a traditional Japanese Buddhist temple style interior, with a touch of Western influence. The temple is decorated with many animal carvings, including imaginary animals, and it is fun just looking for them.
・Two stations from Tsukiji is Ginza, Tokyo's most polished neighborhood with luxury stores. Long-established high-end stores from both home and abroad line the main street. If you would like to find a very special souvenir, this might be the place to look for. Shopping is not the only thing you can enjoy here - the backstreet alleys of Ginza sometimes take you to an unexpected place, so let's find out what is hidden behind the ultra-modern buildings!
hotel pick-up within central Tokyo area
transportation fee of you and guide: about ¥1,000 / person
food and drink cost
*Please note that in case of extension of the tour, the following will be added:
extra hour cost: ¥4500 per hour / group
・I am basically available from Thursday through Sunday. As for Monday through Wednesday, please contact me for availability.
・Some of the experiences/visits require prior reservation. Please send a direct message to me before booking a tour.
・Tsukiji Market is closed on Sundays, most Wednesdays and on National Holidays. This TOUR WILL NOT BE HELD ON MARKET HOLIDAYS. Please contact the guide for holiday information.
・Many shops in Tsukiji do not accept credit cards, so please bring cash.
・Please note that lunch is NOT included in the itinerary.
・Please inform the guide in advance of any FOOD RESTRICTIONS.
Keiko is an excellent guide . She is patient, generous with her explanations and tips for Tokyo in general, and a font of knowledge on the places she takes you to see. Her English pronunciation is outstanding, and such a bonus . I would highly recommend her to all first time visitors such as my husband and myself. Thank you Keiko, we had a great time seeing and sampling a range of Japanese specialities and the stories behind them.
Dear Anne-san and Malcolm-san, Thank you very much for your kind words! The pleasure was mine indeed, and I did enjoy showing you around the market, too. I may not have been able to introduce Japan so much in the three hours of my tour, but since there are a lot more to see in our country, I hope that your visit this time will be a prelude to your next visit, hopefully in the not-too-distant future. Keiko
Keiko-san met us (American mom, teen daughter) in our hotel lobby and first stopped to show us a hidden temple nearby, before she whisked us away to the Tsukiji Food Market, which although crowded with tourists, including us!, still managed to feel authentic and exciting because Keiko guided us to smaller, more intimate stalls away from the crowds. We were then brought to an island, I believe the Tsukishima district, with a restaurant street filled with Monjayaki, savory pancakes you make on a grill. We were lucky enough to stumble across a parade with a portable/traveling shrine and Keiko was quick to detour us to see it, as it was a rare sight. Buckets of water with ladles lined the street, which, she explained, the purpose was to douse the marchers to cool them off. We indigo-dyed scarves, then were off to Yanaka or Old Tokyo, one of the few authentic shopping streets left, that is guarded by cats and cat statues, which my daughter loved. There, we went to Himitsudo for Okinawan shaved ice, that used real fruit, not syrup, and was made with hand cranks and looked like fluffy clouds. What was truly special though, was being in line with only smiling Japanese people, and realizing again, we were taken to a local spot. This allowed us to feel like we immersed ourselves into the culture itself, "where the locals go," instead of observing it from afar. We took photos of the sunset, from the top of the steps. A lovely day in Tokyo. I was touched too by Keiko's very detailed itinerary, with a timetable. A lot of work and effort paid off. Thank you, Keiko-san!
Dear Katherine-san and Madeleine-san, Thank you very much for taking the time to write such a wonderful review, recounting all the things that we went through in detail. After a full day of walk under the scorching sun, the shaved ice at Himitudo was indeed a treat! I felt so bad I had you stand in line for such a long time but was so relieved to know that even such an incident was worthwhile to you in experiencing our culture. I hope you will come back again someday. ARIGATO!
Keiko was fantastic! She handled some of our restrictions with grace and created a tour that gave us both old and new Tokyo, with room for rest on the scalding hot days of August. The boys are still talking about their lunch at the Skytree and the resin-food-making experience. It was informative, fun, kind, and friendly, and we learned more than I'd thought possible. Plus she gave us many ideas about places to see later in our trip! Keiko-san, we were so lucky to have you.
Dear Emily-san, Mike-san, Julian-san, and Gabriel-san, Thank you very much for your kind words. It is at the day's end that I feel most rewarded, when I see the happy faces of my guests, and you indeed made me feel so delighted! I sincerely hope that one summer day's adventure in Tokyo would be a lasting memory to your family, and perhaps one day we would be able to welcome you back once again.
Keiko was an excellent tour guide. We got to see so many things we never would have been able to do on our own. We were 2 senior citizens, and she spent so much quality time with us, showing us the sites around Tokyo. We really enjoyed going to a fabulous sushi restaurant. I highly recommend her to anybody who is thinking of going on a tour you will not be disappointed.
Dear Mort-san, Thank you very much for your wonderful comments. I love the areas where we visited and would be more than happy if you have enjoyed the visit. I hope you have a nice time in Japan, and also throughout your long trip ahead! Keiko