Tsukiji Market in Tokyo is one of the best places where you can try amazing Japanese street food.
In this Japanese street food tour of Tsukiji Market, I tried a total of 10 different foods, which are all listed below with information about how and where you can eat them too. Enjoy!
First, watch the video:
Everything within this Tsukiji Market food tour blog is within the video.
(If you can’t see the video, click here to watch it on YouTube)
Note: Sadly, there was a recent fire in the outer Tsukiji Market at a legendary ramen shop (I ate here last visit to Tokyo). Luckily no one has been reported injured from the fire, but it is very sad to see the damage.
1. Legendary organ stew
Tsukiji Market is a paradise for seafood lovers, but there’s also plenty of popular street foods to try that are far from seafood.
Kitsuneya is a time tested hole in the wall shop that serves one of Tokyo’s legendary versions of a miso based stew with organs. There’s a mix of organs within the stew, lots of jiggly and oozy bits, that slow boil in what looks like one of those eternal bubbling pans.
The organ stew is scooped over rice, and topped with a handful of shredded leek. I’m a big lover of organs, so I loved it. The mix of innards melts in your mouth, and the taste of the stew is slightly bitter and miso filled.
If you don’t enjoy organs, they also have a beef bowl donburi you can order.
Address – 4 Chome-9-12 Tsukiji, Chuo, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan
Price – 850 JPY ($7.70) per bowl
2. Fresh sea urchin (uni)
One of the greatest single bites from the sea is sea urchin, known in Japanese as uni, and highly regarded as a delicacy.
The spiny dangerous looking sea urchins are cracked open, revealing the gold on the inside. Sea urchin is incredibly creamy, salty, and has a natural bitterness to it as well. The flavor is so complex. However, uni is quite seafoody, so you really need to love seafood to probably enjoy uni.
You’ll find sea urchin freshly cut all over the outer Tsukiji Market. I ate mine at an all uni shop, located on the map within a lane of the outer market.
Price – 500 JPY ($4.53)
3. Grilled eel skewer
Freshwater eel, known in Japan as unagi, is another delicacy in Japan. It can be very expensive and very high quality, and traditionally is grilled and served over rice in a wooden lacquer box.
But at Tsukiji Market you’ll find a small stall known as Nishin Tasuke and they grill up skewers of eel in small portions so you can just buy a few skewers to nibble on.
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When I ordered a duo of eel skewers, we had an accident – when he handed me the skewers, one slipped off the skewer and fell to the ground. It was sad, but a testament to how soft the eel is. It’s so tender it will met in your mouth.
Address – Japan, 〒104-0045 Tokyo, Chuo, Tsukiji, 4 Chome−13−15, 18 築地吉澤ビル
Price – 200 JPY ($1.81) per skewer
4. Corn fishcake skewer
There are a number of Japanese street food stall throughout the market that specialize in fishcake. You’ll see an assortment of different shapes and sizes, all golden brown, and with different seasonings.
I’m not totally sure why the corn fishcake is so famous, but it seems to be the most popular of all the choices you have, and so I was influenced into trying it.
It turned out to be really good. The fishcake itself was mild and smooth and light, while the sweet corn was caked onto the edges and even within the fishcake. You’ll find that the sweet corn is amazingly sweet.
Price – 300 JPY ($2.71)
5. Giant oysters
You’ve got to see these oysters in person to believe it… they are huge!
Walking around Tsukiji outer market, you’ll find quite a few little stalls with freshly shucked oysters over ice waiting for you to buy. Be choosy and find ones that look nice and fresh.
I had read about Tsukiji Saito Fisheries, and when I was there, it was very popular – lots of people were buying oysters. They have all different sizes you can choose from, priced according to size.
Naturally, I just had to go for the biggest one they had, and it was by far the biggest oyster I’ve ever eaten.
You know how you normally slurp down an oyster in a single bite? This oyster took me 3 huge mouthfuls to get down. And it was so incredibly soft I could have spread it like jam on a piece of bread. AMAZING!
Tsukiji Saito Fisheries
Address – Japan, 〒104-0045 Tokyo, Chuo, Tsukiji, ４−１０−５
Price – 1,400 JPY ($12.68)
6. Sushi and chirashi
To be quite honest with you, probably the top reason that most people go to Tsukiji Market is to eat sushi – what is easily the most famous of all Japanese foods.
There are plenty of choices you have when it comes to sushi surrounding Tsukiji Market, including famous guidebook places like Sushi Dai.
I happen to just be scanning through Google maps (I really do this sometimes), and I found a place, a little away from the main tourist alleys, an in some back streets of the outer Tsukiji Market. When I saw a few photos of this place, I knew I needed to go there.
I’m still not sure of the English name, but in Japanese 本種.
If you had a Japanese Uncle or Grandfather, this is the type of sushi you’d be eating at his house.
You order the sushi or the chirashi don (sashimi rice bowl) and you get thick cut slabs of ultra fresh fish and seafood over rice in a colorful display.
It’s absolutely amazing, and one of the best sushi experiences I’ve ever had in my life (along with this one).
Have I ever mentioned to you how much I love tuna belly!!!
It’s one of the most insanely melt in your mouth things you could possibly eat.
Large plate sushi – 1,500 JPY ($13.59)
Chirashi don – 900 JPY ($8.15)
7. Matcha ice cream
There’s this one section of the outer Tsukiji Market, right at the front on the main walking road, where you’ll notice everyone in the vicinity is carrying an ice cream cone (at least in the summer).
There’s one stall that’s serving it up, and they have a variety of flavors, but I really like matcha green tea powder.
The ice cream itself, as I’ve noticed many Japanese ice creams, has a strong milk taste, in a very good way. And this ice cream in particular is very fluffy and light, with a strong green tea flavor.
Price – 400 JPY ($3.62)
8. Tamago (sweet egg omelet)
I’m going to be straight with you – I don’t really like tamago very much.
However, tamago, a Japanese sweet omelet, happens to be one of the most popular Japanese street foods to eat at Tsukiji Market. You’ll find about 4 shops in a row all serving these yellow egg blocks on styrofoam plates.
I really appreciate the way it’s made and the art of it, but it’s just a little too sweet for me, while still being an omelet. Nevertheless, without a doubt it’s something you’ve got to try on your Tsukiji Market food tour.
Price – 100 JPY ($0.91)
9. Blowtorched scallop seafood
Approximately 3 years ago, I visited Tokyo and ate a blow torched seafood scallop treat from the same mane with something creamy and white included.
During that time it was winter in Japan, and I had no idea what it was that I ate – but it sure was creamy and rich. Turns out, it was shirako – cod sperm – a winter delicacy in Japan.
Unfortunately it was summer on this current trip to Tokyo, so no luck with the cod sperm. However he included lots of uni and a little crab claw in the mix (make sure you watch the video to see the blow torching action).
Depending on the season you visit Japan, you just might be in luck!
Price – 1,000 JPY ($9.05)
10. Amazing tempura bowl
To finish off this Japanese street food tour of Tsukiji Market I headed over to the block of restaurants near the fish market auction.
There are a few great places to choose from, and I was debating to try a well rated oyakodon (chicken bowl), but when I arrived they were closed, so I headed into Tenfusa Tempura, a fantastic decision to end the day on.
Tenfusa is a friendly and warm little restaurant serving fresh seafood tempura. They take their time to fry everything so it’s fresh and hot and extremely tasty.
My wife and I split a tendon, which is a tempura rice bowl, and a plate of only tempura. The shrimp were outstanding, and I loved how friendly it is.
By this time I was stuffed and very very happy.
Address – 5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan
Total price – 2,500 JPY ($22.64)
In this Japanese street food tour of Tsukiji Market I’m taking you on a thrilling eating tour of the outer market to eat some of the most amazing food and snacks.
Tsukiji Market is a food lover’s dream, and when you’re in Tokyo, you’ll want to dedicate a day to exploring the market to eat seafood (and non-seafood too), and to experience a piece of this incredible culinary paradise.
You’ll find all the places in this food guide on my Tokyo map here.