Formed on reclaimed land in 1934, Toyosu has been transformed over the years into a modern, family-friendly neighborhood. With classy condominiums and bayside views, it’s also the new, highly publicized home of the world’s largest fish market.
The New Tsukiji
Tokyo’s famous fish market finally bid farewell to its Tsukiji location in October 2018, relocating to a much larger, state-of-the art facility just a couple of stops from Toyosu Station on the automated Yurikamome Line. Although Toyosu Fish Market is cleaner and better organized, the new environment is unfortunately also a tad soulless and bland in comparison to the original market, so it’s unlikely to top the tourism lists for too much longer.
That said, some effort has been made to educate and inform about the market and its history, and a few things of note have carried over from Tsukiji, albeit with caveats. Whilst the viewing passage over at the Fish Intermediate Wholesale Market building is disappointing (there is very little to view from its windows), it’s still possible to view the tuna auction at the Fish Wholesale Market building. As before, you’ll have to be there at the crack of dawn (the auction lasts for around an hour between 5:30am and 6:30am), but at this location you’ll find yourself behind windows. If you want to get as close as possible you need to enter an online lottery at hyperurl.co/toyosu-visit. If you win tickets you’ll be allowed inside the lower-floor observation deck (also behind windows).
Back at the Fish Intermediate Wholesale Market building there is a shopping area on the fourth floor with a selection of booths offering various wares such as sushi knives or produce such as fresh wasabi. Unlike at Tsukiji, you’ll have little luck accessing or purchasing anything directly from the main market, but all three of the main buildings contain restaurants including a few favorites from the old inner market – check out Sushi Dai or Daiwa Sushi for a deliciously fresh breakfast. If you’re too hungry to wait, there are plenty of other options with fewer queues. The lawned roof garden is one of the highlights – from up here you can see Rainbow Bridge and the under-construction Olympic Village.
Contrasting with the sterile feel of the fish market is the creative, kaleidoscopic environment of TeamLab Planets. The entry fee is a bit steep (up to ¥3,200 for adults) but TeamLab Planets and its sister installation over in Odaiba, TeamLab Borderless, have proved to be massive hits. Although the former is smaller in scale it’s a much more immersive experience that takes inspiration from its bayside location. Be warned: no shoes are allowed inside and you’ll find yourself wading almost knee-deep in water in some sections. For even more entertainment, head to Urban Dock Lalaport, one of Tokyo’s largest shopping malls and home to KidZania Tokyo. This theme park offers little ones opportunities to get a taste of adulthood by role-playing almost 100 different real-life occupations and activities.
Bay Views and BBQ
With plenty of relaxing green spaces, Toyosu gets a chance to really shine when the weather is good. The waterfront parks, dockyard and boardwalk offer great views across the bay, sea breezes and a few relics from its not-so-distant past as a shipyard. The Toyosu Pier remains an embarking and disembarking spot for sightseeing boats, including the futuristic Himiko vessel (the first of a pair designed by manga legend Leiji Matsumoto), which can whisk you away to either Odaiba or Asakusa. The bay area also features several barbecue sites including Wild Magic campsite, Love Kingdom and The Third Park, where you can rent all the necessary amenities. Perfect spots for grilling up a fresh catch (from the nearest supermarket).