Japanese cuisine has been hailed all over the world as one of the best cuisines. Universally appealing to a wide variety of people, Japanese cuisine creates magic from simple and light recipes including rice, seaweed and seafood. Unlike its Western counterparts, it is easy to digest and doesn’t make you feel bloated, and it also makes any party 100 times more interesting. Therefore, when you visit Tokyo, one of the most important attractions you must check out has to be the food markets. Try some Japanese cooking classes, or buy your own groceries and try your hand at the traditional techniques and culinary delights that this country has to offer. So, if you are interested in visiting food markets, read on for a handy list of the top must-visit food markets in Tokyo, Japan, so you can tick them off your itinerary as soon as possible.
1. Earth Day Market
Located in Yoyogi Park in Tokyo, Earth Day Market is a very special food market that commemorates Earth Day and promotes ethical and sustainable food sourcing. You can find about 52 stalls selling a wide variety of organically grown fruits and vegetables, as well as seafood, handicrafts, household items and fair trade goods. The best part is that they have an amazing recycling method by which you can bring leftover items from your own home, including food ingredients, and exchange them here for coupons that you can use to buy new things. The food market is only held for a couple of days a year, so be sure not to miss it.
Earth Day Market
Address: 2-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 151-0052, Japan
Website: Earth Day Market
Tsukiji Fish Market is one of the most popular seafood markets in all of Japan. You can spend a whole day just exploring the market and snacking on yummy street food that is fried and served on the corner of the street. Enjoy classic Japanese delicacies here, such as sushi, Sake, fresh tuna, bonito and a range of egg dishes such as omelettes. You can also watch how seafood is caught and prepared, and sometimes filleted. There’s also traditional Japanese tea and matcha tea served here, if you would like to sample some.
1) Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market Tour
Discover the vibrant Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market with a knowledgeable local guide on a three-hour food tour. Sample a variety of fresh seafood including the finest tuna, explore the market’s history, and enjoy sushi at a local restaurant. Raise a toast with your group using Japanese sake. The itinerary covers the Tsukiji Outer Market, the Tsukiji Uogashi wholesale market, and more. Indulge your tastebuds by tasting Tamagoyaki, fried fish cake, dashi soup, matcha green tea, and fresh sushi. The tour includes a bilingual guide who shares insights into Japanese culture and history, making it a holistic and unforgettable experience.
2) Breakfast at Tsukiji Fish Market
Dive deeper into the heart of Tokyo’s culinary scene with the Tsukiji Fish Market Breakfast Tour. On this tasting tour of the Tsukiji Outer Market, you will explore local flavours at every turn, so prepare to treat your taste buds to an authentic Japanese seafood breakfast like no other. The spread includes a delightful variety of local dishes from four different food stops, featuring the freshest sashimi, among other dishes. While you indulge in this feast for the senses, the expert guide will continue to enlighten you with fascinating insights into Japanese history and culture.
3) Market tour and sushi-making with Chef Saisho
Embark on an immersive culinary odyssey with this Tsukiji Market Tour and Sushi-Making Class led by Chef Saisho, owner of Ginza Saisho. Traverse the bustling Tsukiji Market alongside Chef Saisho as he unveils his favourite market finds, securing the freshest ingredients for your culinary adventure. Then, at Saisho’s restaurant, you’ll partake in a sushi-making session guided by his expert hands. This gastronomic journey culminates with a refined lunch featuring Chef Saisho’s inventive creation, ‘uniku’, a delectable fusion of premium wagyu (beef) and raw uni (sea urchin).
Duration: 3.0 hour
3. United Nations University Farmers Markets
United Nations University has a food market that is extremely popular and frequented by locals and tourists alike. Selling a wide variety of amazing food ingredients at very nominal rates, this place is perfect to shop at if you wish to buy locally sourced traditional Japanese ingredients. In addition, you can also find household items, minimalistic home decor elements, and other handicrafts.
United Nations University Farmers Markets
Address: 5-53-70 Jingumae | front of United Nations University, Shibuya 150-0001, Tokyo Prefecture
Opening hours: 10am - 4pm (daily)
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4. Yanaka Ginza Shotengai
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As one of the oldest traditional markets in Tokyo, Yanaka Ginza Shotengai claims a special place in the hearts of the Japanese. Here, you can find an old-school vibe with ancient architecture and serenity, which is a sudden change from the typical busy Tokyo streets. There is a certain charm to this market that is inexplicable. You can buy different types of foods, including traditional Japanese sweets and delicacies, small snacks and finger foods, household items, Japanese home decor elements, clothes and even toys for children. It is amazing to see how many types of shops line the same street.
Yanaka Ginza Shotengai
Address: 3 Chome-13-1 Yanaka, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0001, Japan
Website: Yanaka Ginza Shotengai
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
5. Farmers' Market UNU
Farmers Market at UNU is another popular food market that is frequented by a lot of locals. Also known as Aoyama Farmers Market, this place is a great place to shop for local Japanese ingredients that are fresh with a great variety. You can buy delicious beer or whiskey here as well while you snack on street food, as well as home decor items, antiques, Japanese tea, and more.
Farmers' Market UNU
Address: 5 Chome-53-70 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan
Website: Farmers' Market UNU
Opening hours: Sat - Sun: 10am - 4pm (closed from Mon - Fri)
6. Market of the Sun
Taking place on the second weekend of every month, this popular food market hosts about 80 vendors selling a wide variety of treats, from food ingredients and spices to ready-to-eat snacks to munch on as you explore, to alcoholic beverages such as beer. You can also find homemade jams and specialty coffee. While a little heavier on the budget, you can be assured that the food you get here is of the highest quality you can find anywhere.
Market of the Sun
Address: Tsukishima Second Children’s Park, 1-11-4 Kachidoki, Chuo-ku, and Sumida River Terrace, 3-1 Kachidoki, Chuo-ku Tokyo
Opening hours: 10am - 4pm (second Sat & Sun of every month)
7. Ameyoko Market
Tokyo has a ton to offer in terms of food markets. However, one of the most popular ones that come up in a lot of must-visit lists has to be Ameyoko Market. This is one of the food markets that runs until 8 pm, and the charming aesthetic of the place at night changes the whole vibe entirely. With sparkling neon signs calling you in, glittering string lights along the streets and a classic Tokyo night vibe going on, you can be assured that you will get some awesome Instagram-worthy pictures.
Address: 4 Chome-9-14 Ueno, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0005, Japan
Website: Ameyoko Market
Opening hours: 10am - 8pm (daily)
8. Nakamise Dori
Also known as Orange Street, Nakamise Shopping Street is the last, but not least, must-visit food market on this list. This place is very close to Sensoji Temple and is possibly the oldest market dating back to the 17th century. A lot of the shops here are family-owned, dating back several generations, and they serve a variety of treats for tourists and locals alike, including souvenirs, home decor trinkets, jewelry, clothing, and, of course, food. You can find street food, finger food, delicious snacks, confectionery items and sweets to take back home, and much more.
Address: 1 Chome-36-3 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan
Website: Nakamise Dori
Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)
If you are a fan of seafood, and more specifically, fish, this is the ultimate place you need to visit when in Tokyo. The Toyosu Fish Market boasts a staggering variety of fish and other seafood caught fresh from the sea and prepared right in front of you. Watch the vendors carve out fish bones in a delicate method known as a filet. Finally, visit and experience the tuna auction that takes place here. You can walk around all day and never get tired of the sights and sounds around you. Snack on finger foods along the street stalls or help yourself to a delicious serving of the main course in one of the restaurants here.
Duration: 3 hour
Immerse yourself in the captivating world of Adachi Fish Market by joining this all-inclusive tour. You can traverse the vibrant market for a duration of 75 minutes alongside a knowledgeable, local, English-speaking guide who will provide cultural insights and tales of the market’s past. At the end, you can savour a delectable Japanese seafood breakfast that’s sure to please your palate.
The journey commences at Senjuohashi Station – an easy location for tourists who are unfamiliar with the city. Note that participants are to arrive 15 minutes early to ensure a timely start to this exceptional tour.
Enjoy culinary delights in Tokyo
Tokyo’s food markets have been praised all over the world for their sheer size. These are truly markets where you can get anything and everything. So, if you intend to assimilate yourself in the beautiful Japanese culture by trying out some yummy Japanese treats, you can find the freshest foods, fruits, vegetables and seafood from Japan’s most popular food markets. Head on down to these amazing markets as soon as you can, and see what you can find.
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