When Jet-Lag Bites You in Tokyo, Head to the Fish Market

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Almost inevitably if you are coming from the US or similar locations to Japan you are going to really get bit by the jet-lag bug. I’m a wonderful sleeper if given the opportunity, but even I can’t beat this monster. Tokyo is 14 hours ahead of my home of Houston, so I am completely off my normal schedule. For as short a trip as I have, completely switching to their time zone really isn’t all that helpful anyway, so I am making the most of being up at 2AM by doing the following:

  • Eat all the Diamond amenities and snack in the hotel room

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  • Work on the computer
  • Take a nice bath

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  • Stroll around an empty hotel

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The fish market was absolutely amazing, but sadly even leaving the hotel at 3:45AM wasn’t early enough to get into the tuna auctions today. They take a set number of folks, 120 per day, and the slots were all spoken for by the time I arrived at 4:15AM. Crazy!

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However, we still got to walk around the market and watch all the hustle and bustle. Be very careful if you bring small kids here as there are trucks whizzing by in the dark that will run you over. It is a very active place.

The real highlight though was heading to get sushi for breakfast at 5:30AM. It was a set menu that cost roughly the equivalent of 35USD and it was amazing. If you like sushi, this is not to be missed. We didn’t eat at the famed Sushi Dai due to the line being hours long by 4:30AM, but we ate a place a couple of doors down that didn’t have quite as long of a line. Here is the sign that was outside, but I have no clue what the name was (Daiwa Sushi maybe?).

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20130329-073522.jpgAfter sushi it was time for a little shopping and then a quick subway ride back to the Park Hyatt. So, if you are Sleepless in Tokyo, just get up. Don’t fight it, just head to the fish market (assuming it is open on the day you are wide awake in the dark) and you won’t regret it.

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Comments

  1. In 2004, I bought a BOS-NRT ticket for $360 base on AA. I stayed in Tokyo for a few days. At that time, the US $ was pretty strong. (107 yen per $).

    I went to the fish/vegetable markets and at 4AM, I had alot of sushi for only $13. I was a big eater at that time so I ate sushi until I was full. I knew from a local where the least expensive sushi was and the sushi was YUMMY!!!

    I stayed in a well located private room for $27 (not a capsule!!) with a large futon and shared bath. This was at the time before I got married and well located budget accomodations were my highest priority for me.

    Now we would stay in a nice hotel and we are prepared for the weaker dollar.

    Bottom line: We love Tokyo and would go back again!! We enjoyed the fish/vegetable markets and all the other sites!!

  2. Mommy points – are you traveling alone? I would like to travel more but my preferred companions’ ptos are limited. 🙁

  3. Great post. You follow my routine! I throw in some sight seeing too in the area after breakfast at the fish market. Hama-rikyu gardens is next door, great way to spend the morning. Then, I usually do the river cruise up to Asakusa and hang out up there for a bit. The river cruise has a direct stop at the Hama-rikyu gardens. Then back to the hotel for my power nap. Hope you have fun in Tokyo, such a great city.

  4. Wow that looks really good! Have you seen the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi? Highly recommended if you’re a sushi lover.

  5. Stayed at Park Hyatt there too and was severely jet-lagged. Those trucks will def run you over if you are not vigilant. I’m not sure if it was a self-fulfilling prophecy but I felt like I re-lived Lost in Translation when I was there.

  6. We visited the Park Hyatt New York Bar after a day of sightseeing. After the host informed us of the $20 cover, which we accepted to his surprise, we had a wonderful night listening to some great jazz and drinking Japanese whisky. The band even played along with us working in an entire tv theme song solo medley into the set.

  7. As a permanent resident in Japan over 20 years, I would say PHyatt is not authentic Tokyo. Stay at a ryokan or use the osento This is how you experience the real Tokyo. Tsukiji market regulations have changed due to various issues. A local market is even more exciting. I worked in Tsukiji for 8 years.

  8. Did you eat the uni?

    I like it but it’s an acquired taste.

    Tsukiji market will be phased out soon, so visit it before it’s gone.

  9. Park Hyatt may not be authentic Tokyo, and it’s not very well-located to most of what you might want to see, but it’s still a wonderful experience.

  10. Tsukiji while jetlagged has long been a traveler’s rite of passage. Tsukiji has been said to be relocating for many years; I wouldn’t bet on its reopening in Toyosu next year. I have yet to eat at a sushi place near Tsukiji that isn’t excellent–they are all wonderfully fresh.
    I agree with Mateo, staying in ryokans as opposed to chain hotels is a much more interesting way to experience Japan–highly recommended, and some are good for families.

  11. Nice post. I wonder why my cheeks are so bloated in your bar picture at Yamato. It was sure worth the wait, though this was my second time trying to get into the fish auction and my second fail.

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