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Tuna Auction at Toyosu Fish Market Complete Guide

Updated: Jul 9, 2023

Tuna auction is a popular activity that happens at Toyosu Market, the largest fish market in the world. In this guide, we detailed everything you need to know about watching a live tuna auction at the market.

Toyosu Market is the new market that replaced Tsukiji Market and is located in a new location in Toyosu, Koto Ward. If you want to experience the famous tuna auction in action, here’s what you need to know:

Where to see a tuna auction in Tokyo

There’s only one famous tuna auction in Tokyo and it is located at Toyosu Market, the biggest fish market in the world with a total of 40.7 hectares. Before Toyosu Market was built, lively tuna auctions take place every morning at Tsukiji Market.

How to get to the tuna auction at Toyosu Market

To get to Toyosu Market, hop on the train to Shijomae Station on the Yurikamome line. This is the same line that takes you to Odaiba.

The good news is—Toyosu Market is directly linked to Shijomae Station, so you can get off the train wherever you want to go at the market. It is pretty comfortable actually!

Trains to Toyosu Market begin at 5:15 am. Note that it is on the Yurikamome line from Toyosu. If you start your journey from Shimbashi, the first train to Toyosu Market starts at 5:45 am, and it’s already too little too late for the tuna auction.

Therefore, we highly recommend getting ready as early as 4:00 am for the 5:15 am train on the Yurikamome line.

Alternatively, you can take a cab to get to Toyosu Market early enough. Just ask the cab driver to drop you off at Shijomae Station. Note that cab drivers are not allowed to drop passengers off at the fish market gates. These entry/exit points get really busy in the morning.

Where is the tuna auction held?

The tuna auction happens in the first wholesale building. Upon arriving at Shijomae Station, head to the Fish Information Center, the entrance for the tuna auction. All visitors who wish to watch the tuna auction must go through the Fish Information Center. Attendants can brief you in English and Japanese.

After a space filled with shops, you will go through another hall full of historic information about tuna auctions in Tokyo. This includes one model of the largest bluefin tuna ever sold at Tsukiji Market, the old location of the market, weighing nearly 500 kilograms.

That was in 1986. It is believed that this record might not be broken anytime soon as tunas as massive as this are now harder to come by.

From this area, a hall leads to the tuna auction area, which is one floor above the action. The viewing spot is behind a glass. No visitors are allowed to be up close and personal with the tuna auction. You can also take note of the hand signs that buyers make through a board at the viewing spot.

A fun fact to note—the tuna auction floor is color green for a reason. Buyers make a decision through the quality of tuna and the best way to determine that is by assessing how red the meat is. Having a green floor makes tuna’s meat stand out even more.

There is also a dedicated observation deck on a lower floor beyond the hall. This gives visitors a closer experience of the live tuna auction.

Since the glass does not reach the ceiling here, you can hear the lively auction. However, it can get really cold here compared to the viewing deck on the upper floor.

This is accessible via the elevator at the end of the hall on the upper floor. You need to get a ticket to be here.

What time is the tuna auction at Toyosu Market?

The tuna auction at Toyosu Market happens from 5:30 am to 6:30 am. Unlike the observation deck on the lower floor, you do not need to pre-register when watching from here.

However, you need to show up as early as possible to secure your spot. Only 27 people are allowed on the viewing deck.

How to watch the tuna auction at Toyosu Market

Again, you do not need to sign up if you are watching from the upper floor. But you need to be there as early as possible to get a spot.

For the dedicated viewing deck, you need to apply for it. Applications are open in the first week of the month for a spot the next month.

There’s no guarantee that you can get a spot, though. The selection process is through a raffle draw.

Check out the application page. Scroll down for the English instructions.

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