Jōgai-Shijo (the outer market) of Tsukiji – Street Foods galore

by on September 1, 2009

street-food-tsukiji

Let’s hope you’re hungry and ready for this post….

As if the Tsukiji fish market didn’t give us enough of an adrenaline rush, waiting right outside the ordered chaos of the massive fish hangers, was Jōgai-Shijo (the outer market) the extended treat of the Tokyo Central Wholesale Market.

Jōgai-Shigo is another extensive collection of market stalls to the exterior of the main Tsukiji Fish Market. Sushi vendors sell their various types of fresh sashimi and sushi to hungry crowds of locals and tourists, all waiting to get a taste of the seafood that was purchased across the way from Tsukiji.

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Incredibly fresh fish for street side sushi and sashimi

Fresh produce, kitchenware, additional fish vendors and street food stalls complete the extraordinary shopping experience. It was thrilling to see produce that we wouldn’t normally see in our neck of the woods, California. Tender baby ginger, all sorts of mushrooms and stalls filled to the brim with vegetables had us yearning to bring some home and cook.

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Fresh produce was exploding out onto the sidewalk—careful where you walk!

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After spending a few splendid hours in the chaotic fish & seafood interiors of Tsukiji, we emerged hungry and breathless onto the aroma infused alleys of Jōgai-Shijo. A plethora of food stalls including noodles, onigiri, yakitori, takomaki, unagi, and fried fish cakes dotted the narrow streets.

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It was almost impossible to sample everything that was offered before us, but what we did indulge in was just delicious.

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He grills his unagi (fresh water eel) to perfection (look for him)

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For only 100 yen (about $1 US dollar), this stall sold amazing grilled unagi (eel) on a stick.  Gesture to the vendor that you want some and he’ll grill you up a stick for each finger you hold up. The crowds definitely line up for his skewers, so be patient, wait your turn and you’ll be rewarded with great unagi.

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Look for this handsome fella & his ramen stall

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The finale- hearty and delicious bowl of pork ramen

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With so many noodle stalls to choose from, we were craving ramen and this stall’s big bowl of sliced pork and colander of green onions caught our attention. Also, tons of customers were slurping his noodles on the tall tables that lined the street, so that was enough recommendation for us to dive into a bowl. If it was good enough for the locals, it was great for us. The pork was juicy, the noodles were perfectly cooked and the shoyu broth was rich and satisfying. For less than 500 yen (about $5), the bowl was generous and delicious.

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Fried fish cakes/balls were plentiful and they came in all sorts of sizes, shapes and types. We’re never ones to turn down anything fried, especially when it comes to seafood. The prices were very reasonable as well, about 50 cents per piece. This whole bag came out to about less than 400 yen, $4. This was a great eat-while-you-walk munchie and if it wasn’t 9:00 am we would have grabbed a cold beer to wash it down with.

We ate so much and tried as much of everything as possible, but our stomachs eventually reached their limit.  We’d need a few trips to the outer market to be able to try everything that caught our eyes.  So much tastiness, so little time.

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We love Tsukiji Fish Market (jōnai-shijo)and outer markets (jōgai-shijo) and will return at least one more time during this trip before we head back home! There’s going to be a video episode of all this very soon!

Stay tuned for a Tsukiji video for our ” The Hungry Travelers” series!

More Konichiwa Japan! posts for this trip:

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    { 17 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Dave September 1, 2009 at 3:15 am

    Y’all need to take readers on your trips. ;-) Great pics, as always!

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    2 The Gardener's Eden September 1, 2009 at 4:15 am

    Another beautiful post. I love the photos and your descriptions of the vendors working; the vendor selling his eel, the girls buying it, and the vendor cooking ramen in his booth. Again, the photographs are just gorgeous. And the variety of wide-shot scenes, taking in the hub-bub, combined with the close ups of the food itself… just tantalizing. Unfortunately you are making us all green with envy. :)
    Thank you both
    -Michaela

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    3 Divina September 1, 2009 at 5:27 am

    Such beautiful post and photos. I hope to go there one day.

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    4 veron September 1, 2009 at 6:19 am

    I am so jealous, but so happy that you all had a great time. Everything looks droolworthy. Can’t wait to take a trip to Japan. Thanks for taking us along through your pictures!

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    5 Kristina September 1, 2009 at 6:57 am

    OMG, eel on a stick! I am SO there. The ramen looks fab too.
    In the top set of photos, what is the golden fried thing in the lower right corner?
    If you go back, hope you get to indulge in one of the sushi places. The set meals are supposed to be fantastic.

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    6 White on Rice Couple September 1, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    It’s crab on a stick! Oh yeah, lathered in panko bread crumbs and deep fried. Delish!

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    7 jen September 1, 2009 at 7:37 am

    ok, this isn’t funny anymore! I’m ready to hop on the next flight to Japan!! :) This is all great information for my family trip next year!

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    8 Howard September 1, 2009 at 7:44 am

    I remember the unagi man, I was just there in February! The lines were long, so I trusted the locals and wasn’t disappointed.

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    9 White on Rice Couple September 1, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    How cool, you saw him too! His line is soooooo long, but for only about 100 yen ($1) stick, no wonder he draws such a huge crowd!

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    10 Jessica@FoodMayhem September 1, 2009 at 8:33 am

    So that’s what heaven looks like….kind of reminds me of the time I waited on a long line in the pouring rain in Taiwan for some famous unagi. As much as I hate rain, it was very worth it.

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    11 Gastronomer September 1, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Thanks for the colorful street food report, T&D! Japan is even radder than I imagined. Eat some for me!

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    12 Brooke @ Food Woolf September 3, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    My god. Can’t wait to see the video. Your pictures make me so hungry for lunch. I’m wondering just how hard it was to make it through that food market without buying up everything in sight. I suppose that’s what the backpacks are for–to force you into traveling light!

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    13 amy September 5, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    I recognize the Ramen stand! It’s the busiest stand…still the best ramen I have ever tasted!

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    14 Debs September 6, 2009 at 1:33 am

    Fab post, enjoyed reading this. I love street food, lucky you.

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    15 noelle (simmer down!) September 11, 2009 at 6:57 am

    Love the Japanese street food/ pub food, especially all the meat-on-a-stick! I have to say I was surprised when I went there- I had this impression of Japanese food being so healthy, and then there was fried food everywhere… skewers of meat and different types of meatballs seemed especially popular. Wish I had gotten to try the unagi on a stick, it looks delicious.

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    16 Manggy September 29, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    Ah, our mutual love of market pics. :) Street food never looked so good, guys! :)

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    17 Reiz March 17, 2010 at 1:40 am

    aaa! The unagi looks absolutely a delight!!

    Reply

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