tsukiji market sushi breakfast

Tsukiji Market Sushi Breakfast

In Japan, Restaurants, Shopping by Daryl & Mindi Hirsch9 Comments

The Tsukiji Market has the freshest fish in the world. That’s why there’s nothing better than a Tsukiji Market sushi breakfast in Tokyo.

There's nothing better than a Tsukiji Market sushi breakfast in Tokyo.

Hue Clear Eyes Tsukiji Market Tokyo Japan tsukiji market sushi breakfast

We had traveled the length of the country with short stops in Chicago and LA, and it was finally time to step back into the “Asia Portal.”

The Asia Portal is not for the meek or the faint of heart. Travel to the Asia Portal requires endurance and an open mind. It also mandates a plan, and, when that goes awry, a certain amount of nimbleness as a world traveler. Our last venture through the Asia Portal took us to China. This time we were going to Japan.

This particular entry into the Asia Portal required two United flights that hurtled us across the length of the United States to Los Angeles where an ANA 777 plane launched us across the International Date Line.

We were headed to Japan where the future is now – a land where derivation meets the highest levels of refinement to create a culture that is utterly original. Japan is the land of the rising sun, the home of sushi, the epicenter of ramen, the capital of tempura, the bastion of yakitori and also the home of an inordinate number of Michelin starred restaurants and French patisseries.

We arrived at Haneda Airport in the southern outskirts of Tokyo at 5am. We stepped onto the monorail and arrived at Tokyo station early enough to secure day lockers for our somewhat large rolling suitcases. As we walked, the city was asleep and the streets of the upscale Ginza neighborhood whispered quietly.

However, one nearby landmark beckoned us with the hustle bustle of forklifts and motorized carts steering around each other in recklessly choreographed motion. The vehicles moved with purpose for good reason: the product they were transporting was the freshest seafood in the world

Yes, within two hours of our arrival in Tokyo, 2foodtrippers arrived at The Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market, otherwise known as Tskukiji Market.

A Large Tuna Greets Us Outside Tsukiji Market Tokyo Japan tsukiji market sushi breakfast

A Large Tuna Greets Us Outside Tsukiji Market.

We wandered through the outer market, perusing the various food and produce stands along with food stalls where market workers and Tokyoites were enjoying various local specialties so early in the morning.

Workers and Locals Enjoying Stew Outside Tsukiji Market Tokyo Japan sushi breakfast

Workers and Locals Enjoying Stew Outside Tsukiji Market

We then ventured into the heart of the market, where we saw fish sales in action. The freshly plucked octopus, bluefin tuna, clams, shrimp and salmon astounded us with their big, shiny, clear eyes and muscular, firm flesh. Even though we weren’t on a guided tour, we were still able soak it all in.

Fresh Tuna Sides Tsukiji Market Tokyo Japan tsukiji market sushi breakfast

Fresh Tuna Sides

Eel Tsukiji Market Tokyo Japan tsukiji market sushi breakfast

Eel

Workers at the Market Tsukiji Market Tokyo Japan tsukiji market sushi breakfast

Workers at the Market

Butchers Portion out Fresh Tuna Tsukiji Market Tokyo Japan tsukiji market sushi breakfast

Butchers Portion Out Fresh Tuna.

Octopus Tsukiji Market Tokyo Japan tsukiji market sushi breakfast

Tsukiji Octopus

Ark Clams Tsukiji Market Tokyo Japan tsukiji market sushi breakfast

Ark Clams Say ‘Hello’.

Tsukiji Market Sushi Breakfast at Sushi Bun

Sushi restaurants abound all over Tokyo, and some of the very best places such as Jiro Ono’s restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro are inordinately expensive demanding up to $300 a person for a omikase (prix fixe) menu. However, there’s still amazing fish to be found at affordable prices on the outskirts of the inside market. Some of these popular sushi counters like Sushi Dai feature customers lined up around the block, waiting as much as two to three hours or more to for breakfast. But there are still many establishments with lower profiles that serve fish that is equally excellent.

We chose to eat our Tsukiji Market sushi breakfast at 150-year old Sushi Bun 鮨文 in building 8. Although this restaurant is popular, the lines are humane. The wait was about an hour on the busy Saturday when we arrived; however, the wait was virtually non-existent on our return later in the week. We ordered two different tastings in order to sample a wider variety of fish. The cost of the two tastings averaged about $30 per person. Once seated, we were served fish on bamboo leaves, about three pieces at a time.

Customer line up outside Sushi Bun Tsukiji Market Tokyo Japan tsukiji market sushi breakfast

Customers Line Up Outside Sushi Bun.

Like many sushi restaurants in the United States, our sushi was accompanied by miso soup. However, to our pleasant surprise, Sushi Bun’s miso soup featured baby cockles that complemented the earthy flavors of the soy miso with the fresh briny flavors of the ocean.

Sushi Bun Miso Soup with Baby Cockles Tsukiji Market Tokyo Japan tsukiji market sushi breakfast

Sushi Bun’s Miso Soup with Baby Cockles

Then our nigiri sushi started to arrive – luscious pieces of maguro (lean tuna), toro (tuna belly) and otoro (fattiest tuna belly) as well as baby octopus with a dollop of miso, uni (delectable sea urchin) and ikura (mouth-popping salmon roe).

Nigiri at Sushi Bun. From Left to Right: Firefly Squid, Salmon Roe, Toro (Fatty Tuna), and Maguro (Lean Tuna). Tsukiji Market Tokyo Japan tsukiji market sushi breakfast

Nigiri at Sushi Bun. From Left to Right: Firefly Squid, Salmon Roe, Toro (Fatty Tuna), and Maguro (Lean Tuna).

A Chef at Sushi Bun reaches for Fresh Maguro (Tuna). The sushi served at Sushi Bun is some of the best in Tokyo Tsukiji Market Tokyo Japan tsukiji market sushi breakfast

A Chef at Sushi Bun reaches for Fresh Maguro (Tuna). The sushi served at Sushi Bun is some of the best in Tokyo without the exorbitant prices or crazy lines.

As we left the market, we breathed in the scents of the soups and other delicacies. Plus, we shared fish meatballs on a stick.

Daryl enjoys a fish ball Tsukiji Market Tokyo Japan tsukiji market sushi breakfast

Daryl enjoys a fish ball.

If we lived in a city with a world-class market like Tsukiji, perhaps we could give up meat. Perhaps. Either way, we’d be eating a heck of a lot of delicious sushi.


Comments

  1. Mmmm, sushi breakfast! I wish I could afford to make a habit out of it, especially while I have easy access to Tsukiji. Glad you took advantage of this amazing market!

  2. Great photos, nicely presented. I think those are firefly squid, not baby octopus. Have a great trip; I look forward to more posts.

  3. Curious, were they ok with you taking photos at Sushi Bun? I’ve sent clients there in the past and they have said that the were told not to take photos. Also they said that service was not kind there (which has never been my experience).

    1. We love your book and are honored that you have have read our blog post. We hope you will read again, as we have more food-focused Tokyo posts ahead. As for Sushi Bun, we found the service to be quite rude on Saturday morning. The sushi was so good that we went back on a week day morning, and the dining experience was much better. Although they don’t allow camera photos, they didn’t seem to mind us taking a few with our iPhones.

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