Speaking of markets in Tokyo, Tsukiji fish market must be the first one which comes to your mind, right? Tsukiji fish market is the most well-known market in Tokyo, but it is not the only market. At the meat market in Shinagawa, you can see auctions and visit the production factory for free. Isn’t it a great chance for children to learn and have fun at the same time?
A meat heaven in a business district?!
As Tokyo is a leading financial centre, there are many business districts where commercial buildings are built closely. Shinagawa is a very well-known one of the business districts. Not only is Shinagawa station on Yamanote line, one of the major railway lines connecting urban centres in Tokyo, but also it is one of the bullet train (Shinkansen, which connects the largest cities in Japan) stops.
By just looking at its location and transportation, you know how important this district is in commercial aspect. But how come it is a meat heaven? A meat heaven and a very important business district…?
The meat heaven actually refers to the “Metropolitan Central Wholesale Meat Market” located 3 minutes walking distance from the Konan exit of Shinagawa station. This meat heaven and 10 else markets in Tokyo, including the most well-known Tsukiji fish market in fact together belong to “Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market”, whereas it is the only meat market, where meat production and processing is done.
You can get to Shinagawa station directly from Narita airport by train without any transfers. From Tokyo station (to where it is a 40-minute bus ride from Heneda airport), it takes you about 10 minutes by train to Shinagawa station.
Be an early bird to see an auction!
An auction (“seri” in Japanese) is always the highlight in a meat market. It is really exciting to see traders bidding for products really seriously just in front of your eyes. It is a pity that photography is not allowed in the market, so keep the memory in mind!
While you can walk in to see an auction in Tsukiji fish market anytime, you need to make an appointment to see the auction here in Shinagawa meat market.
The only restaurant in the market
In Tsukiji fish market, there are a lot of restaurants where visitors can enjoy meals. However, in Shinagawa meat market, there is one and only one restaurant, which is called “Ikkyū shokudō” (一休食堂). Although it is the only restaurant there, no reservation is needed.
Tonkatsu is highly recommended! Tokatsu refers to deep-fried pork, which is a common dish in Japan. The Tonkatsu here in “Ikkyū shokudō” is well-known for its good taste, and its reasonable price. “Ikkyū shokudō” is open from 6am to 3pm, so remember to get up early and make sure you have enough time to try the Tokatsu here!
Give your children a life lesson
Don’t forget to visit the meat processing factory on 6th floor of the center building in the meat market. No reservation is needed, so just walk in! Besides the history of meat processing, you can have a look at how meat processing is done, and observe an animal body in real size. Which parts of an animal do you usually eat? Find it out!
Another interesting point is, there are models of internal organs in the same weight as the real organs. You can hold it in hands to feel how heavy a life is. Schools in Japan include such activity in lessons to let children learn to respect life and treasure food. Isn’t it meaningful?
Deluxe meat with a bargain price
There is an event called “Tokyo meat market festival” every year in October.
The admission is free! What’s more, there will be food tasting corners serving dishes of Japanese premium beef for free! You don’t have any reasons not to join, do you? Aside from free food tasting, various kinds of meat are available at good deal!
The festival is not only about buying meat, you and your children will enjoy the show there!
Although it is a meat festival, there are also shops offering vegetables. How about having a barbecue with your family using the ingredients you get in the festival?
In Tokyo, it is not hard to find shops where you can rent the place and equipment for barbecue. Let’s enjoy the wonderful time with your family, choosing ingredients and grilling the food yourselves!
Perfect for a family trip!
Last but not least, be reminded that meat processing includes procedures such as cutting animal into pieces. Be prepared for seeing animal dead bodies and blood. It may seem to be scary, but a coin always has two sides. It is a rare opportunity you can learn from real animal bodies. Do cherish the valuable experience!
Have a life lesson while having fun with your family, and you will treasure one another more! Don’t Hesitate. Book flights to Tokyo with DeNA TRAVEL.