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I want to ask about the Tsukiji Outer Market. It will be my first time in Tokyo and although I have checked several sources , some questions cannot be answered.

According to youtube, www.japan-guide.com and other sources: In Tsukiji Outer Market and near it there are several small shops/restaurants offering seafood, fish and other items that can be consumed on the spot. Tsukiji also seems to have a variety of food stores.

Also it seems that Tsukiji Outer Market is closed during holidays and 31 December to 3 January.

Do all these shops/restaurants belong to the "Tsukiji Outer Market" ? Will all these shops/restaurants be definitively closed or can some one find such shops/restaurants that are open 31 December to 3 January?

Is there any similar experience in Tokyo available 31 December to 3 January?

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During the new year holiday season in Japan (Jan 1 to Jan 3 for 2020) most shops and restaurants close. The smaller the establishment, the more likely it is to be closed. December 31 is usually a working day, but shops might close earlier.

Japan doesn't completely stop though during the holidays. Chain restaurants, supermarkets, large department stores, and commerce in large tourist areas like Shibuya, Shunkjuku and Akihabara are likely to be open for business.

Tsukiji in particular is mostly in the middle of an office area, and has mostly small family owned shops that are very likely to be closed for the holidays. Some chain sushi restaurants like Sushi-zanmai or Sushiko might be open.

If you're interested in visiting a specific shop, I suggest you look at their website, or call them to ask for their new year holiday schedule.

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  • Thank you for your answer. The information regarding the 31st of December is very interesting as it opens up a window of chance. What I was able to find is that officially in Japan 31 seems to be a public bank holiday e.g. timeanddate.com/holidays/japan/2019. But some stores could be actually open in the morning? However other sites also note that 31 is not a holiday. I am confused. – Spyros K Dec 20 '19 at 13:39
  • December 31 is not a national holiday in Japan. Many companies, including banks may give their employees the day off, but this is not a requirement. My observation in this comment was regarding restaurants though, which don't necessarily have working days based on the calendar. – Panda Pajama Dec 25 '19 at 19:46
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I have not been out and about on holiday period, but I would assume most shops in Japan are outright closed on those days, Tsukiji or not. Most of the locals are out on holiday to spend time with family or such which means storefronts are usually closed as well. This would mean that finding a similar experience during those dates might be difficult.

For the shops considered part of the market, I would recommend checking under the ご飲食 section in the Tsukiji webpage. Some shop pages have phone numbers, so you may be able to call ahead for any shops you might be interested in visiting to see if they will be open on that day. The webpage/phone app Tabelog is also useful for finding contact information.

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  • Thank you for answer. The Tabelog was particularly helpful. – Spyros K Dec 20 '19 at 13:39
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    The webpage is useable, but I use the app plenty for doing filtering when navigating an area I don't know. If I want to eat sushi, I simply filter by 寿司 in 500m range or something. You do need a bit of Japanese knowledge to navigate the app itself, though. – Eriol Dec 20 '19 at 14:00
  • How do you find the app for android? Searching Tabelog does not return me any results. – Spyros K Dec 20 '19 at 14:41
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    The webpage should have the iPhone link and Android buttons that should redirect you to the corresponding store page, but this is the link for the Android version as of now. – Eriol Dec 20 '19 at 14:51
  • Thank you! The page you provided works. Just to note, to anyone else trying to install if from outside japan, that the app can only be installed when in Japan. – Spyros K Dec 20 '19 at 14:52

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