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Tokyo/Chuo

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Tokyo : Chuo
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Chuo (中央; [16]) is a central ward in Tokyo.

Understand[edit]

While the name literally means "Center", this district loses out in prestige (if only very slightly) to neighboring Chiyoda, home to the Emperor among others. Still, the Ginza is generally reckoned to have the most expensive real estate on earth and there are plenty of bright lights... and a famous fish market too.

Get in[edit]

The western edge of Chuo starts on the Yaesu (east) side of Tokyo Station, and if your legs are feeling up to it, you can get pretty much anywhere worth seeing within a 45-minute walk. Otherwise, take the subway.

See[edit][add listing]

'Tsukiji Wholesale Market Moved'
For those following outdated information and looking for information on visiting the Tsukiji Wholesale Market with its early morning tuna auctions and famous frenetic activity, the market at Tsukiji closed in October, 2018 and was moved to nearby Toyosu. The outer ring of restaurants and stores is still there however, and for those looking for fresh sushi and other goods, you can still go shopping and see a lot.


  • Tsukiji Outer Market (築地場外市場, ''Tsukiji Jōgai Shijō''), 5-2-1 Tsukiji (Tsukijishijo Station E18, Toei Oedo Subway, Exit A1), 03-3542-1111, [1]. vary; usu. 5 AM-2PM closed Sun, holidays, some Wed. The restaurants are still worth a visit for the very fresh sushi available. The restaurants are very cramped. Any bags will be a nuisance, bringing luggage is out of the question. You are allowed to order one setting per person and leave straight away so others can take your space. Many restaurants will accept cash only. Please refrain from walking around eating. There is more than fish as well, including other meats and vegetables. The shops offer a lot of food-related items such as plates, utensils, chopsticks, knifes or cookbooks. Free.  edit
  • Tsukiji Hongwanji (築地本願寺), 3-15-1 Tsukiji (accessible from Tsukiji (Hibiya Line) or Tsukiji-shijo (Oedo Line)), 03-3541-1131, [2]. A Jodo Shinshu temple just a few blocks away from the fish market, worth seeing because of its unique, South Asian-inspired architecture. Buddhist services are held in English on Saturday evenings.  edit
  • Tokyo Stock Exchange (東京証券取引所), 2-1 Nihombashi Kabutocho (accessible from Kayabacho (Tozai and Hibiya Lines) or Nihombashi (Asakusa Line)), 03-3665-1881, [3]. 8:45AM–4:45PM Closed Sat-Sun. Tokyo's stock exchange, while one of the largest in the world by capitalization, is now entirely automated, and the tiny building it resides in is mostly for show, featuring a small museum, exhibition hall, and broadcasting facilities.  edit
  • Hamarikyu Gardens (浜離宮恩賜庭園), 1-1 Hama-rikyu Teien (7 min walk from Shiodome, Tsukiji-shijo (Toei Oedo line) or Shimbashi (Yurikamome line) subway stations, 10 min. walk from JR Shimbashi Stn), 03-3541-0200. 9AM-5PM. Of around a dozen traditional Japanese gardens in Tokyo, Hamarikyu easily sits in the Top 5. Originally built by 17th-century shoguns for their private enjoyment, Hamarikyu is now a traditional stroll garden with an all-season range of flowers and flowering trees. The highlight is the tea house, picturesquely set on a small island in the middle of a pond, where green tea and sweets are available for ¥500. Some see the old garden with several high-rise buildings in the background as a microcosm of Japan, but make of that what you will. The garden is located next to Tsukiji Outer Market. One great way to add to the experience is to take the water bus down the Sumida River from Asakusa there - free admission to the garden is included in the fare. Otherwise, for those walking to the garden and also looking at visiting another garden nearby, Kyu-Shiba Rikyu, look for a combo ticket to save a little money. ¥300 (age 65+ ¥150, primary school children free).  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Tokyo Kūa, right under the Yaesu entrance to Tokyo Stn, [4]. Daily 6AM-11PM. The self-proclaimed first sauna and spa in Japan, still going strong. Open for men only. Entry ¥2300.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

The Ginza, covered in its own article, is one of the world's most famous (and most expensive) shopping districts.

Eat[edit][add listing]

The Tsukiji Outer market has tons of fresh seafood to try. There is also the Tsukishima Monja Street nearby for monjayaki (see below).

Budget[edit]

Monjayaki before cooking...
...and after. (Yes, it's supposed to look like that.)

Past Tsukiji on Harumi-dori is the island neighborhood of Tsukishima (月島, "Moon Island"), known mainly for its many restaurants serving monja-yaki (もんじゃ妬き). It's like okonomiyaki, but the dough is much more runny and the ingredients are finely chopped, leading to what looks like a puddle of vomit. Just remember the essentials: you form the shredded cabbage into a ring on the griddle and pour the leftover liquid in the middle, and you use the tiny spatulas to press the mixed batter onto the griddle until it sizzles, then eat it right off the spatula. (Most shop staff will be more than happy to assist.) To get here, take the Yurakucho/O-Edo Line to Tsukishima station, and you'll find "Monja Town" [17] aka Nishinaka-dori (西仲道り) extending out from near exit 7, with no less than 70 restaurants crammed into a couple of city blocks.

  • Oshio Honten (おしお本店), Tsukishima 3-17-10, 03-3531-7423, [5]. The original shop of one of the better-known chains here, with half a dozen restaurants. Try the mentaiko-shiso monja with cod roe and perilla, which tastes oh so much better than it looks. Monjas from ¥1000 up (serves two).  edit

The northern section of Tsukishima is named Tsukudajima (佃島), and is the origin of tsukudani (佃煮), a way of preserving food by simmering it in a sticky soy and sugar sauce. This has fallen out of style in most of Japan but is still commonly available here. Seafood, seaweed (konbu) and various vegetables are the most common ingredients, but if you're looking for something more interesting, try inago (いなご) tsukudani, made from locusts.

Mid-range[edit]

Daiwa Sushi, Tsukiji
  • Caretta Shiodome Sky Restaurants (inside the Dentsu building), 1 Chome-8-2 Higashishinbashi, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 105-7090 (south-east of Shimbashi station, use the elevated walkway from the Yumikamome line station, non-stop elevators from B2F), 03-6218-2100, [6]. 11:00am-late. Offers a tremendous view from 200m up on floors 46 and 47, check the website for which restaurants offer which view from ¥1000 up.  edit
  • Try a sushi breakfast at Tsukiji. The fish is guaranteed to be as fresh as possible and the prices, while not cheap, are surprisingly affordable given the extraordinary quality - figure on ¥2000-¥4000 for an omakase set of whatever is good today. For comparison, a meal of a similar caliber in the Ginza would easily cost over ¥10,000. The restaurants can be found in alleys of Building 6, reached by walking in from the main entrance and turning right at the central square. The following two sushi joints are very popular, so be prepared to queue (an hour's wait is typical) unless you get there very early, like before 6am. Smaller groups may be served before larger ones. Both make a point of serving only fresh fish that has never been frozen. Mostly cash only.
  • Daiwa Sushi (大和寿司), 03-3547-6807, [7]. 5:30AM-1:30PM. The larger of the two, so the queue moves faster. The standard omakase course is ¥3500 (7 pieces & 1 roll), and a cheaper ¥2100 version also available. Famous for their melting soft anago (conger eel).  edit
  • Sushidai (寿司大), 03-3547-6797, [8]. 5AM-2PM. ¥3900 for day's set (10 pieces & 1 roll), of which you get to choose the last piece. They also have a cheaper ¥2500 version.  edit

Quite a few other sushi places can be found in the streets outside the market.

  • Sushizanmai (すしざんまい), 11-9 Tsukiji (near Shin-Ohashi-dori/Harumi-dori crossing), [9]. The self-proclaimed "King Of Tuna", this is now a large chain but they originate from here in Tsukiji, where they have no less than 7 locations and the three-story Honten is open 24 hours. Prices are per roll and range from ¥100-500, or order a set meal for ¥3000. They have an excellent English menu.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Tsukiji is home to a variety of Japanese-style bars (izakaya).

Ginza, west of Tsukiji, has a wide variety of drinking establishments, which can range from cheap to extremely expensive. As a rule of thumb, the more casual and affordable establishments are under the JR train tracks on the western side of Ginza, closer to Yurakucho and Hibiya. Those establishments often have a longer history than the ones in central Ginza, due to the difficulty of redeveloping space under a train track.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Budget[edit]

  • Toyoko Inn Nihon-Bashi Zeimusho-Mae (東横Inn日本橋税務署前), 11-5 Nihon-Bashi Tomizawa-cho (3 minute walk from the A3 exit of Jogasho-Nihonbashi station on Toei Asakusa Metro Line), 03-5847-1045, [10]. checkin: 16:00; checkout: 10:00. Part of the popular hotel chain, Toyoko Inn offers complimentary breaskfast and free wi-fi. Excellent value at 7000 for a single to 8,480 for a king double. Free shuttle bus service is available from the Yaesu central exit of JR Tokyo Station. ¥7000~.  edit
  • Sumisho Hotel, 9-14 Nihonbashi Kobunacho, +81 03-3661-4603 (fax: 03-3661-4639), [11]. A ryokan style hotel in walking distance from Tokyo Station, Japanese style rooms and big traditional bath available. Singles start at ¥7000, doubles at ¥11,000.  edit

Mid-range[edit]

  • Hotel Kazusaya (かずさや), 4-7-15 Nihombashi-Honcho (near Shin-Nihombashi Station, Sobu Line), 03-3241-1045 (), [12]. Singles ¥8000-9000, doubles ¥14,700.  edit
  • Tokyu Stay Nihombashi, 4-7-9 Nihombashi-Honcho, +81 03-3231-0109 (fax: 03-3231-0112), [13]. Slight discounts are offered for extended stays. Part of the Tokyu Stay chain, these hotels are popular with business travelers. The small kitchenettes, washer/dryers, and free LAN access in all rooms makes these a good value. Singles start at ¥9,450, twin rooms ¥17,850.  edit
  • Tokyu Stay Higashi Ginza, Tsukiji 4-11-5, 03-5551-0109, [14]. Part of the Tokyu Stay chain. Free internet access, microwave, washer-dryer, and kitchenette in each room. Good staff, views of nearby temple. Located very close to Tsukiji fish market, avoiding an early morning taxi ride. Singles from ¥9400, twins from ¥14,700 per night, breakfast included. Discounts for extended stays..  edit

Splurge[edit]

  • Royal Park Hotel, 2-1-1 Nihonbashi-Kakigara-cho, 03-3667-1111, [15]. Five-star luxury hotel, adjacent to Tokyo City Air Terminal (TCAT) via skybridge. Suitengumae Subway Station is underneath the hotel.  edit



This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!