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Adachi Fish Market in Tokyo: Giant Snail, Fish Eyes & More

By Rika Hoffman
June 19, 2019
Updated: March 31, 2021
We strive to be as accurate as possible and keep up with the changing landscape of Japan’s food and travel industries. If you spot any inaccuracies, please send a report.

Previously, the Best Ever Food Review Show and byFood brought you videos about experiencing Shinbashi nightlife like a salaryman, tasting unique ramen in Tokyo, surviving the poisonous fugu pufferfish, indulging in Japanese wagyu beef, and feasting on the wild seafood menu at Kabuki Maguro. In this last installment of the video series, Sonny explores Adachi Fish Market, the second biggest wholesale fish market in Tokyo, and tries super fresh kaisendon, fish eyes, and even raw snail!

Adachi Fish Market in Tokyo

Adachi Fish Market in Kitasenju is a wholesale market offering everything from tuna to octopus to snails. While tourists ordinarily do not have access to these fish markets and permits are required prior to filming, a few strings were pulled to grant Sonny and his guide, Kyoko, access.

Early on, Sonny spots something called “whale bacon." According to Kyoko, the Japanese media claims that the whaling ships are only for research purposes, and capture just a certain number of whales. To this Sonny remarks, “Oddly enough, the amount of research done on whales in Japan seems to coincide with the local appetite for whale meat.” 

Passing on the whale bacon, Sonny goes for the crowning glory of all Japanese fish markets: the gigantic tuna. One tuna seller cuts into a massive tuna to reveal the striations of fat. Those layers each have different fat contents, such as the ruby red akami (lean tuna), and then the chutoro (medium fatty), and then the otoro (super fatty tuna). Later, sitting down in a restaurant, Sonny and Kyoko get to taste the different varieties of maguro sashimi, as well as a kaisendon, a bowl of rice topped with minced tuna, fried egg, black clam, shrimp, crab, tuna, abalone, sea urchin, and salmon roe.

Then, at La Tartarughina, a Japanese-Italian restaurant, Sonny presents Chef Yoshiaki with his bag of goodies from Adachi Fish Market, consisting of tuna eyes and a giant snail, and challenges him to go off menu and cook them up! Sometimes simplicity really is the best way to go, and Chef Yoshiaki prepares the tuna eyes sauteed in a pan with a little salt and oil, then roasted in the oven. As for the snail, he breaks the tough outer shell to extract the snail meat, carefully washes it, and slices it into thin strips, presenting it artfully in the shell.

Watch as Sonny and Shizuka try rare Sendai delicacies like chicken sashimi and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more food adventures!

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Rika Hoffman
Rika is a sourdough enthusiast, amateur film photographer, and pun-lover, born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia. A carb-based lifeform, she is always on the lookout for tasty bakeries in Tokyo.
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