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Discovering Japan: Tsukiji Market

Tokyo is a very big area by default so when you mention you are planning to visit tokyo, make sure to state the particular area you are visiting because in tokyo itself is a state (prefecture) and the other names you see on the map like Ikebukuro, Ueno, Akihabara are called districts. Learned alot during my short stay in Japan and looking forward to learn more about it on my future visits.
Staying in Ikebukuro for the first few days made commuting around tokyo easy thanks to the JR line that heads to all the main central districts.

I didn't manage to visit the entire circle due to time constraints but the very least covered about maybe 1/3 of it which i would briefly list out below; if you manage to visit more than 3 places in a day it would be a frigging miracle already lol.

  • Tsukiji Market
  • Ginza
  • Kawagoe-shi
Main entrance of Tsukiji Market

On my 2nd day in Tokyo, i was just playing tourist by following あなたaround with his Iaidō group since i had no plans at all for this whole trip but upon arriving back in kl i made sure im are ready and prepared for my next trip already lol
Everyone says it's a must to visit their famous morning fish market Tsukiji to see how their locals operate, experience the Japanese style morning market and of course the most important is to try out the food there.
They have so much food variety to offer so please go there with an empty stomach, anyway it's also advisable to head to tsukiji market first thing in the morning around 8am to avoid disappointment, as most things would already be sold out before 12pm.

Getting there:
  1. JR line Shimbashi (15 minutes walk)
  2. Tsukiji Shijo Station on the Oedo Subway Line. 
  3. Tsukiji Station on the Hibiya Subway (5 minute walk)
Had so much good food there in the morning that lunch itself was the least of our concern lol, seriously in Japan forget counting calories because the amount you eat in a day is definitely not enough to replace the amount used up from all that walking.
You guys should know how weight conscious i am, especially the type of food i eat but over here i totally didn't give a damn at all lol, in fact i enjoyed trying out all those authetic local food which it's hard to find good ones back in Malaysia.

Walking to Tsukiji, the morning weather here is always so pleasant.

Most people would usually go for Tsukiji market's famous sushi as they are very well know for their freshness (fish market mah abuden lol) but the queue is just plain insane and the price is really REALLY expensive for a plate of sushi (average of 900¥- 1000¥). Imagine paying close to 40 MYR for a plate of sushi lol, for the experience and freshness some wouldn't mind.
Their sushi store concept is the standing type, non seated so it encourages customers to quickly finish their meals and go. No chit chat wasting time and hogging places as there are other out there waiting for their turns too.

Because of the queue i kinda gave up hope on trying this "super fresh premium sushi" lol, decided to settle for ramen instead but what i wasn't aware it was pork based broth lol, sorry!!
I usually don't practice eating pork since i was young but somehow in Japan it's always the case of accidental consumption Q_Q

So guys, you gotta be careful with what you buy as halal stuff isn't something common in Japan, even their sandwiches ham can be pork ham instead of chicken lol.
But damn..hate to admit this the ramen tasted so good that i was starting to wonder "is this what i've been missing out on all these years?" XD
It wasn't super salty, in fact the broth was just perfect and soup was clear with generous slices of lean pork on top. One bowl is quite a big portion enough to feed to small tummy, if you love ramen then better give this place a try!
About 700¥ for that big portion, beats having to pay for a small plate of sushi lol.

The ramen shop can be found on the outside of tsukiji market, you can't miss it as it's the first row of shops you'll see before going inside the market.
Alongside there was a freshly made gyudon store (beef) which smelt so heavenly, wished i had save some space for that *sobs* but yea..in one day your stomach sure can't manage all the foods there lol remember to eat in moderation, if you are going in a group of 4-5 people then it would be a great time to try abit of everything.

Someone please propose to me with a huge bunch of vegetables like this next time, don't need flowers at least with this i can make dinner for the both of us lol!

Beside the ramen store had this fresh fruits store and i couldn't resists staring at all their fresh local produces because they are not just big but HUMONGOUS!
One Daikon (radish) could easily be almost 60-70cm long just look at the picture i took and my reaction lol, sorry i am easily amused so i couldn't resists picking this up. Best part of this market is all their fresh produce are priced quite cheap (not super cheap as the outskirt areas) compared to the supermarket and obviously much fresher as they are restocked daily.
Explains alot why my friend make this place as must visit everytime he comes back to Japan for a visit lol. Makes me wonder why are all the vegetables, fruits, fishes here are so big?
We joked that it could be the caused of radiation lol hence eating them we can get super powers too.

Meet giant Daikon (radish).

If you are first timer in Tsukiji Market here are some useful tips

  • Don't wear high heels, it's a wet market not a club lol
  • Wear covered shoes (with socks if possible)
  • Dress comfortably for easy movement
  • Bring wet wipes (in case some mud gets to the back of your calves while walking)
  • Try not to haggle (if do please be reasonable)
  • Don't touch the ready made foods unless you really WANT to buy it (hygiene please!)

This sign and map is found outside of Tsukiji market, hope it helps.

In Tsukiji, there is no right or wrong place to have your meals, there might be a few stores that serves the same kind of dish but observe the queue. If it's long and filled with locals instead of tourists then you know it's good but if you are feeling slightly adventurous then by all means go ahead and try the ones that are not so crowded chances they might taste much better than those commercialized ones.
Walking and exploring this market takes about an average of 1-2 hours including eating, stopping to shop, etc. Seriously, there are so many funny things to be found here like death sauce and overgrown vegetables. 

Had this fluffy tamago for 120¥ each, not bad but too sweet for my taste.

Every store you pass by, there is definitely something that would draw your attention to it like their testers, friendly staffs who could surprisingly speak mandarin quite well  and found out apparently they are not natives, lol feel so trolled.
But nonetheless they always make you feel welcome at their stores, making sure to attend to your inquires and curiosity.

Aside from just fresh food, you can find tons of dried ones there too like those famous dried snacks eaten with beer/ alcohol but take note some of these stalls priced their items outrageously expensive so make sure to do some comparison as you walk, don't be easily fooled into buying certain things there because remember this is a tourist spot.
I had some weird fermented black bean with coffee that tasted sweet yet funky lol, think my taste buds went abit hay wired from trying so many kinds of testers that morning.

Think these kind of preserved dried snacks are something you can bring home as souvenirs but sadly for fresh produce we can't bring them out of the country :(
If not i would have brought home a bunch of grapes and their large apples!

Saw this onigiri (rice ball) store had quite a long queue and non stop customers purchasing since i arrived and left Tsukiji market. They had a large variety of flavors and usually eating 102 large onigiri like these is already considered a complete meal as it is quite filling. Should give this a try on my next visit! 

Going to a market, if is a waste to leave empty handed or an empty stomach! Make sure to have your fill (not till you explode la) and carry home some as emergency food as you continue with your trip exploring around tokyo area. The walking would make you feel hungry in a jiffy, thank god for konbinis (convenience stores) but you just came out from a wet market where all the fresh food are!
So eat that for today instead of konbini food :P

Busy having my pick at the flavors, couldn't decide which so in the end we bought each of everything lol #firstworldproblems when it comes to choosing food .

My only sad departure of this place was because i didn't buy more of their freshly made mochi stuffed with fresh fruits.
This has got to be one of the largest, softest and most delicious tasting mochi i had in my entire life, not you average chewy glutinous rice balls, these guys melt in your mouth.
Won't say it's cheap since it's close to RM10 for just 1 piece but for fresh HUGE mochi, why not right? Once you sink your teeth into one, i won't blame you if you can't help yourselves from taking the next mochi in line lol. The juicy fresh fruits/ nuts that compliments the mochi's soft bouncy skin like a match made in heaven (seriously!).
Can't get over it and im craving for it so badly now since i came back to Malaysia *sobs*, also fresh mochi like these are best consumed within 3 days or lesser in order to maintain it's freshness or else it will go stale.

Delicate piece of work indeed, so buying it means eating it on that day itself which was no problem for us. あなた and i finished a total of 12 mochi-s in a day lololol.

They have 7 basic flavors with fillings like azuki, matcha, chestnut, sesame, custard and can't remember the other 2 more and these are priced at 200 ¥ each, take 8 for 1000¥
Really rugi (a loss) if you guys don't try this!

Stuffed with generous amount of filling and fruits, priced at 300

Each of every flavor, from the far left is azuki stuffed strawberry, followed by custard with grape and matcha with strawberry.  I haven't seen any strawberry around the market that day maybe because it's not in season :( Their strawberries here are so big, juicy and sweet like all their other fruits! I could live and die happy in this country already with just the lol.

 Say hello to mommy! :D
See all that azuki oozing out? Tempted yet? ;-)

 I am not your average mochi eater but a hardcore lover, i am always in search of good mochi because i just love how it's made to perfection with all those pounding and stirring to create the perfect balance of chewiness and softness. Back in Malaysia i used to love occasionally treating myself to this premium mochi place called "Mochi Sweets" but unfortunately they are shut down all operations in Malaysia, but our neighbour Singapore still has them.Not a fan of the cream in the middle but it's the 2nd bets i could get to eating a real Japanese mochi,
Would very much love to visit a mochi making place one day and learn a thing or two on how to make mochi! My motto is to "EAT ALL MOCHI" haha!

Who else here enjoys mochi like i do? :)

Phew.. typed so much about tsukiji market and realized i did not leave any space for ginza and kawagoe-shi town lol..darn maybe in my upcoming post i'll continue this story, sorry guys got abit too carried away as always when it comes to my Japan trip posts >.< *paiseh*
In Kawagoe-shi it's just the tip of Saitama (outskirt of tokyo), i have discovered some very interesting  treasures in this small town and i can't wait to spill this all out!
So till my next blogpost~

Random photo section:

Kyaaaaaa~ wanted to buy this but after conversion it's still expensive for a bento >.<
About almost the same if i buy it from Malaysia, saw a japanese store in jaya one selling something similar at RM70-80

Whale ice cream anyone? Most interesting flavor i've seen so far but really kind of of pricey for a cone of ice cream @_@ almost tempted to get one and try just for the sake of trying as i've never tried whale flavored ice cream before. And if you are looking to buy fresh whale meat, you can find them easily in this market. I am actually against the idea of eating big marine mammals as the way they are slaughtered is terrible :-/

Death by sauce?
Sounds like a perfect gift * evil laughter*

Missing Japan Dearly,



5 little angels said...

Wow... Very long queue for super fresh premium sushi. The taste must be awesome.

Cindyrina Rina said...

food look good at Tsukuji. You are right for muslim friends they need to watch out on what they eat too.love your photo dear!

Em said...

The radish is really gigantic. I love the atmosphere of the morning market and the scooters are so cute looking.

GengQian said...

not a mochi fan but oh my, those mochis look absolutely delicious!!!

Syafiera Yamin said...

Mak aih besAR gila radish dia ! Elok juga untuk kesihatan tu !

Sherry said...

wow so big the radish! my favorite to make soup and drink. ;D

Betty Liew siaw fan said...

wow Tokyo has nice food. yummy yummy. I like the busy environment but scare queue up

renaelyng said...

I was there at Tsukiji too! Had my sushi at Kinoju, was totally worth the wait and the time! Love Tsukiji, so many things to see and to eat hehe.

Miera Nadhirah Tan said...

Whaaaa.... Blair's after death sauce??? What is it meant to be for???

Michael Yip said...

Did you manage to visit the morning fish market?

Kelly Chin said...

Tsukiji market is always so busy and lots of food to eat there. I like to have the sashimi fresh... so fresh.

Wilson Ng said...

It will be shifted next year so this is the last year it is around.

Arisa Chow said...

Seriously??? One of their most iconic markets moving where?

仙妮 said...

OMG! this is an interesting market in Japan! all their vegetable so giant looking! ha...ha... :)
Cheers, SiennyLovesDrawing

wfc said...

woow.. japan street is look so happening... the food so tempting.

Arisa Chow said...

i've yet to try but maybe someday lol. have to arrive there like 6am to be the first 10 in line XD

Arisa Chow said...

Aww, thanks Cindyrina :) yea, but in chiba prefecture heard there are a few restaurants dedicated to halal cuisines

Arisa Chow said...

yep! could last more than a week if it was just 2 people eating lol

Arisa Chow said...

Trust me, after trying this you WILL be a mochi fan too XD

Arisa Chow said...

yea, didn't get fishes as i wasn't planning to cook. lots of other seafood selection there too!

Arisa Chow said...

Kinoju queue was also quite long! In the end i gave up waiting for all sushi haha

Arisa Chow said...

Guess it's something like our peri peri hotsauce lol

Arisa Chow said...

yummy! I too am a big fan of sashimi, but to be honest sashimi anywhere in japan also tastes good and fresh!

Arisa Chow said...

Tourist spots always alot of queuing, so quite a common sight if the food is good ;)

Arisa Chow said...

I also love raddish soup, especially if added lotus in it!

Hanniz Envato said...

Cute photo with the giant vege! Everything is so rushed over there! Even after paying a premium price you need to quickly eat and go haiya

Sharon Lee said...

I wanted to visit Tsukiji market too when I visit tokyo! Can't wait for more post of you travel to Tokyo =D

Sebrinah Yeo said...

The mochi looks so goooood! Thank you for sharing about ur journey in Japan 😍😍😍

Ellie Toh said...

Never been to Japan yet. Hope to go there one day and enjoy what you did.

Mums Babies said...

Lovely street food photos and they truly show the love for food.

Leona Lim said...

You definitely Japan so much can see from your passionate writing about it, seriously you can consider to work there

Isaac Tan said...

having authentic ramen, in japan.. win liao lo :P ,..

Anfield Yee said...

That Mochi!! Would loveeee to try! ANd also to visit this place.
I've been hearing about this place from so many of my friends! :)

Arisa Chow said...

Actually all their markets also very interesting geh if you like just walking among locals :)

Arisa Chow said...

Yes! Left and right has so many choices even you won't be able to decide lol

Arisa Chow said...

Well, life in Japan it's all about being fast right? XD I recall seeing people generally move and do things quite fast

Arisa Chow said...

Will do! Have so much to share but need time to sit down and focus writing about it haha

Arisa Chow said...

Yummy deshou? :D most welcome! It's my favorite country and hope others can love it as much as i do,

Arisa Chow said...

I was considering to migrate there if there was a given chance, but still coping to read, write and speak the language lol. If only i was chinese educated the the writing and reading wouldn't be too difficult as some characters almost similar ;)

Arisa Chow said...

Dear Ellie, I am sure you will soon some day! *hugs*

Arisa Chow said...

Thanks :) There was actually tons of other photos but couldn't post'em all up if not it would make loading this post very slow haha

Arisa Chow said...

YASSS! Tick off my checklist :P But now back in KL im missing every single one of it!
Here cannot find good ones :'(

Arisa Chow said...

When there is food, Anfield arrives XD
Yea, foodies like to come here to eat!

Arisa Chow said...

Besar, siap masak pun x leh habis XD

Kian Fai Koh said...

that was a one fun trip . . . (Y) (Y) (Y) (Y) for the tamago! :x

Aliza Sara said...

You are so experience in travelling! I would love to travel with you if i was given a chance X)

Kylie wenn said...

So enjoy.. ur trip... Always makes me wanna go discover japan again!

Arisa Chow said...

This is my 2nd time overseas btw haha, ain't no pro but i do enjoy travelling and writing :) hopefully i can do that for a living someday lol.

Arisa Chow said...

Every visit there feels like a first time all over again :)

Arisa Chow said...

Who doesn't like eggs right? XD

Pen My Blog said...

The photos babe, major love! Though yes I do agree that you do have to be careful what you eat there - best solution is to always ask but I am glad that you enjoyed your trip for Japan really has wonderful sights and things to see.

Arisa Chow said...

How was your trip to Japan too babe? :) Which areas have you visited?

Siawsiaw Life said...

love ur photos ^^ share me more Japan trip photos pls !!

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