Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
  • Hokkaido
Sub-zero temperatures and the greatest of outdoor environments, complemented by sizzling soul food and warm-hearted welcomes. Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Sleek apple-red and electric-green shinkansen whisk you up to a haven of fresh powder snow, fresh fruit and fearsome folk legends Fearsome festivals, fresh powder and vast fruit orchards—the rugged northern territory of Tohoku offers a fresh perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
Mountains and sea meet in one of Japan's wildest regions, and the result is sheer beauty. Once largely inaccessible, Hokuriku is now reachable by shinkansen from Tokyo in a matter of hours An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Characterized by the constant buzz of the world's most populous metropolitan area, the Kanto region is surprisingly green with an array of escapes that include mountainous getaways and subtropical islands Experience diversity at its fullest, from the neon of Tokyo to the ski slopes of Gunma, exotic wildlife of the Ogasawara Islands and cultural heritage of Kamakura
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Served by the shinkansen line that connects Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the Tokai region provides plenty of interesting diversions and easy excursions Tokai means "eastern sea," and this region stretches east from Tokyo to Kyoto and includes blockbuster attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
From raucous nights out to outdoor thrills to peaceful reverie, trying to categorize the Kansai region is a futile task The Kansai region is one of extreme contrasts—the neon lights of Osaka and glittering Kobe nightscape, the peaceful realms of Shiga, Wakayama and Nara, and the cultured refinement of Kyoto
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Less-traveled and delightfully inaccessible at times, the Chugoku region is a reminder that the journey is sometimes more important than the destination Welcome to Japan's warm and friendly western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Providing the stage for literary classics, fevered dancing and natural wonders Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
Easily reached by land, sea and air, the dynamic Kyushu prefectures are bubbling with energy, culture and activity The southern island of Kyushu is home to volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky, succulent seafood, steaming hot springs and the country's hottest entrepreneurial town
  • Okinawa
Ruins and recreated castles of the Ryukyu kings nestle amid magnificent beaches in Okinawa, a diver's paradise teeming with an amazing array of coral and undersea life Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Eat & Drink

Tsukiji Market 築地市場

Explore Japan's most famous fish market and sample all the sea's exotic bounty

Tsukiji is the greatest fish market there is, handling over 2,000 tons of fresh seafood a day. Observing the busy buyers and sellers haggle is half the fun, but to win the game you really need to eat some of the catch at one of the many sushi bars in the area. Early morning is best for the fullest and most authentic experience.

Don't Miss

  • Watching the early morning tuna auction
  • Browsing the massive wholesale area
  • Getting up early and sampling the freshest sushi around

How to Get There

Tsukiji is south of Tokyo Station and right next to the Ginza area.

Take the Oedo Subway Line to Tsukiji-Shijo Station or the Hibiya Subway Line to Tsukiji Station. If you have a JR Pass, the nearest JR station is Shimbashi, just a 15-minute walk away.

If you plan to attend the tuna auction, it may be a good idea to stay within walking distance, since public transportation doesn't operate during the very early morning hours.

Big tuna on the block

The most exciting part of the Tsukiji Market is the famous tuna auction that begins at 5:25 a.m. The rest of the market opens to the public at 10 a.m. on weekdays, but you need to line up before 3 a.m. for this premium experience. Only the first 120 visitors get to witness the auction.

If you are lucky enough to get in, you will get a vest that indicates which of the two tour groups you'll be joining. Stay close to your guide as you traverse the complex, and watch out for the service vehicles zipping all around. You'll enter a room full of frozen tuna and see expert buyers examining each fish.

Buyers signal their bids with quick hand gestures, and the fish are promptly whisked away to be carved up for restaurants. The efficiency on display is what makes this process so impressive.

A feast for the eyes

Explore the wholesale market area to see the day's catch. You can find roughly 500 types of marine life on sale as well as an impressive array of fresh fruits and vegetables. The wholesale market is open to the public at 10 a.m. on weekdays.

You can eat some of this ocean bounty raw, but if you don't have means of preparing food on your own, leave that to the professionals at nearby eateries.

Sushi Paradise

The surrounding area thrives thanks to the fresh fish coming through the market. You can't go wrong with any of the nearby sushi restaurants. Most of the itamae chefs, have had decades of training and experience. Their expertise, combined with the fresh seafood they have access to, makes for a fine dining experience.

If you are already in Tsukiji for the early morning tuna auction, you must stick around for some breakfast sushi afterward.

Catch of the day

The Tsukiji Market is vastly popular, but it's capacity is limited. To rectify this, the market is relocating to a larger facility in Toyosu as early as fall 2018. It's not yet clear how the overall experience will change, so take advantage of the original Tsukiji location while you still can.

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