Geeky Administrator on 02 12, 2011 (Visited 6476 times, 2 visits today)
The Tsukiji Fish Market is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world. It’s also one of the largest wholesale food markets of any kind. The market is located in Tsukiji in central Tokyo, and is a major attraction for foreign visitors. Tsukiji moves about five million pounds (2,268,000 kilograms) of seafood every day—seven times as much as Paris’s Rungis, the world’s second largest wholesale market, and 11 times the volume of New York City’s Fulton Fish Market, the largest fish market in North America. In dollar terms, that comes to about $28 million USD worth of fish per day.
There are two distinct sections of the market as a whole. The inner market (jonai shijo) is the licensed wholesale market, where the auctions and most of the processing of the fish take place. It is also where licensed wholesale dealers (approximately 900 of them) operate small stalls. The outer market (jogai shijo) is a mixture of wholesale and retail shops that sell Japanese kitchen tools, restaurant supplies, groceries, and seafood. There are also plenty of restaurants, especially sushi restaurants. Most of the shops in the outer market close by the early afternoon, and in the inner market even earlier.
The market opens most mornings except Sundays and holidays at 3:00 am, with the arrival of the products by ship, truck and plane from all over the world. It imports from 60 countries on six continents. The market is the busiest between 5:30 and 8:00 am, and the activity declines significantly afterward. Many shops start to close around 11:00 am, and the market closes for cleaning around 1:00 pm. Auctions start around 5:20 am. Bidding can only be done by licensed participants such as, intermediate wholesalers who operate stalls in the marketplace and other licensed buyers who are agents for restaurants, food processing companies, and large retailers. The auctions usually end around 7:00 am. Afterward, the purchased fish is either loaded onto trucks to be shipped to the next destination or on small carts and moved to the many shops inside the market.
A Walk into Tsukiji Fish and Seafood Market (Youtube Video)