The Tsukiji Fish Market, Japan
The Tsukiji Fish Market is currently located in Tokyo, Japan, and features a massive amount of wholesale seafood in addition to tourist directed outdoor markets.
Tuna auctions are perhaps one of the most well known activities, and tourists can watch the action if they wake up early enough to snag a ticket. If you really want to see this, plan ahead.
Walking around inside the market is an experience in itself, with workers zipping past you on electric vehicles and containers of a variety of fish lined down the walk ways. Little ones are not allowed inside, as they could get hurt in the bustling environment, and adults will want to be on their toes!
Outside, the environment is still as busy as a beehive, but it's more laid back and appropriate for visitors of all ages. Retail shops offering souvenieirs, food vendors selling everything from squid jerky to matcha tea and a wide assortment of fresh sushi restaurants are packed along the narrow walkways. We had little ones with us, and I'd highly recommend skipping the stroller for something that straps your kid to your chest. The stroller made it hard to get around.
We came mainly to eat at one of the itty bitty sushi restaurants that can seat no more than about 10-15 people at a time. It's really just a sushi bar, no tables or extra seating; this let's you closely communicate with the chef while he makes recommendations. These guys take sushi quite seriously, so we just let him pick everything for us.
I tried a lot of things I thought I'd hate...like salmon roe (little pink eggs) and mackerel (a really strong fish with a sardine like taste). He even told us there's a specific order in which the fish should be eaten; from the faintest tasting to the strongest. Sushi has always had a special place in my heart, but now I'm plagued with constant cravings of Tsukiji sushi.
Most meals in Japan are pleasantly paired with hot tea and soup, which we also received before our massive plate of sushi. Even though we had to wait outside in the hot sun while one of us at a time slipped into an open seat, it was a phenomenal experience. The only thing I didn't like was sea urchin; it tastes like straight ocean water.
We sampled authentic japanese snacks and tried hot matcha for the first time in the market streets. I drink matcha almost every day now. Japanese culture is beautifully unique, and a lot of it can be experienced at the market. If you ever wander towards Tokyo, it's a landmark place to go.