If Japan has been on your bucket list, now would be the time to plan a trip, because come November, the glorious, historic and well-worn Inner Market at Tsukiji will be moving about a mile away to a brand new facility, scrubbed of any faded glory. You certainly won’t get to see the tuna auctions anymore, at least not from a few yards away; they’ll most likely take place behind glass. The world’s largest fish market is a sight to behold, and the next time I go (hopefully before November) I’ll plan on spending a full half-day there. The Inner Market is where you see the real action, but the Outer Market is where the ancillary businesses are – restaurants, retail shops, knife makers, etc. Those aren’t going anywhere, and my guess is they will still attract tourists. But for sheer seafood thrills, it’s the Inner Market where you want to stroll after 9 a.m., because it’s still the only place in the world where you can see the bounty of the world’s oceans all in one place.
I spent some time in the Outer Market this visit, getting a sushi-making class and buying up as much kombu (seaweed) and katsuobushi (dried and smoked skipjack tuna) as I could, determined to make my own dashi.