Fish is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of Japanese cuisine. Therefore, it is crucial that the ingredients used for these dishes are as fresh as possible. Japanese fish markets are found around the country and are a fundamental part of the Japanese food industry. In other words, there should be no reason for you to pass on the opportunity to check out these markets that are essential to Japanese culture.
Adachi Fish Market: Tokyo’s Hidden Fish Market
Adachi Fish Market: Experience the energetic morning atmosphere of a Japanese fish market
In Tokyo, there are 3 official fish wholesale markets, and the Adachi Fish Market is the second largest coming after the worldly famous Toyosu Market.
Many travelers go to visit the Toyosu Market because it is the famous one, and that is good. But I would like to recommend the Adachi Market for the following 3 reasons.
1. Lots of activity and excitement, regardless of its size
The Adachi Fish Market consists of 3 main areas;
The fish wholesale market: where you will see fishermen, intermediaries, and restaurant employees viding and trading on the great variety of fresh seafood. You can also see tuna cutting demonstrations!
The retail market: where you can find fruits, vegetables, meat, packaged foods, and tsukemono (Japanese pickles). You will see many locals shopping in this area.
Uogashi Shokudo: where you will find a variety of restaurants serving the fresh fish from the market in a wide variety of ways.
The fish wholesale market where you will see fishermen, intermediaries, and restaurant employees viding and trading on the great variety of fresh seafood. You can also see tuna cutting demonstrations!
The retail market, where you can find fruits, vegetables, meat, packaged foods, and tsukemono (Japanese pickles). You will see many locals shopping in this area.
Uogashi Shokudo, where you will find a variety of restaurants serving the fresh fish from the market in a wide variety of ways.
The Adachi Fish Market has a size of 42,675㎡, which is about 1/8 of that of the Toyosu Market (fish area). Although relatively small, you will find the same excitement and vitality during trading hours as it can be experienced in the Toyosu Market. This, especially during “Adachi Market Days”, which are held on the 2nd Saturday of odd months, you can see most movement and excitement.
Usually, the fish wholesale market area is only opened to the people of the food industry, and visitors are not allowed to participate (only see). But during Adachi Market Days, anyone can purchase the fresh fish from the wholesale market.
2. Very local-oriented
With the exception of Adachi Market Days, the market doesn’t get so crowded in comparison to the Toyosu Market.
Many local people go to the retail market area to make their usual grocery shopping. Everyone knows each other and you can feel the friendliness in the air.
On the other hand, you won’t find that many foreign visitors in this place as this is not a major attraction yet, which I think it makes it a good opportunity to blend in with the locals and experience the local market atmosphere. Everyone is friendly and will explain to you if you have any questions about the products.
3. It has a good location
If you are planning to visit the Ueno, Asakusa area, but don’t know where to start, you should take into consideration visiting the Adachi Fish Market. You can look around the market in about an hour and you can even have a Japanese-style breakfast there.
The Adachi Fish Market is located a 5-minute walk away from Senjuohashi station, which is just 15 minutes by train from Ueno.
5-minute walk from Senjuohashi station (Keisei Main Line)
15-minute walk from Kitasenju station (JR Lines, Tokyo Metro “Chiyoda Line”, “Hibiya Line”)
Adachi Market Days (2nd Saturday of odd months): 9 am to 11 am.
For regular days, it is recommended to visit between 8 am and 10 am.
Fish markets are an essential part of Japanese cuisine and it is an experience you don’t want to miss out on.
I hope this article helped you to see that the Toyosu Market is not the only option when it comes to exploring the energetic morning atmosphere of a Japanese fish market. By looking at the market size, the number of shops, and the variety of fish, the Toyosu Market is the popular place. But if you prefer a market that is easy to access, can interact with the locals, and not so crowded, then the Adachi Fish Market is the perfect place for you.
And if you happen to be in Tokyo during the Adachi Market Day, then you have no excuse to miss out on this opportunity!
Looking for hidden gems in Tokyo?? Here are some more articles introducing some of off-the-beaten-track spots in Tokyo!