Items Found at Tsukiji Today!

Tsukiji Market in Chuo-ku - Tokyo’s Kitchen

At dawn, Tsukiji market becomes busy with people coming and going. Turret trucks run here and there inside the market carrying fresh and tasty food from all over Japan. Tsukiji is rightly called Tokyo’s kitchen. On average 42,000 people and 19,000 vehicles come in to the market every day, which is as big as 23 hectares. Even if we only talk about seafood, about 1.6 billion yen worth of food is handled making it the largest market in the world. Right beside the front gate, there is a board notifying of lost and found items. There you can find a unique list of items that can only be found at Tsukiji market.

Tsukiji Market in Chuo-ku - Tokyo’s Kitchen
The entire view of Tokyo’s kitchen, Tsukiji Market.

Wide Variety of Lost Items from Perishable Food to a Ring

March – ‘Condensed milk for strawberries, Coho salmon’, May – ‘White strawberries, Lettuce, Mizuna (Japanese mustard greens)’, June – ‘Raw flying fish’, September – ‘Monkfish liver, Ascidians with wasabi’, the list goes on. People even say that you can tell which ingredients are in season from the list of lost items on the board. These lost items are stored in a fridge or freezer if they are perishable, and they get listed on the board as well as announced in the market. The items get returned to owners only after checking ID and stamping. If the lost items are perishable food, they get thrown away if the owner does not turn up within 3 days. As Tsukiji is also a touristy place where a lot of people gather, the lost items are not solely food. Train passes, credit cards, business card holders, cash, driving licenses… they even contain hanko (name stamps) and rings!

Wide Variety of Lost Items from Perishable Food to a Ring
The front gate, busy with workers at the market and tourists passing by.

Lost items taken to authorities

3,783,260 – this is the number of lost items taken to the police in 2015. The probability that the items return to their rightful owners is 81.9% in terms of mobile phones, and 73.2% for cash. This high rate of return of lost items amazes people overseas. It is normal for Japanese people to pick up even small lost items such as coin purses, power cables, loyalty cards, and so on. Then they announce them through the lost item board and some of them are retuned to their owners. The lost item board at Tsukiji market shows us this great courtesy from the people of Tokyo.

Lost items taken to authorities
The lost item board is placed in front of the police box right beside the front gate.


When did it start? In 1935, Tokyo central wholesale markets were established. It is unclear when they started using the lost items board.
Where can we see this? Beside the front gate of Tsukiji market.
Best suited time of the year or of the day? Early morning. As time goes by, the items on the board get erased once the owners are found.
Data related to this topic Size of Tsukiji Market: 230,836 m2
Amount of food handled (average/day in 2014)
Fisheries: 1,676 tons (worth ¥1.611billion)
Fruit and vegetables: 1,095 tons (worth ¥323million)
Please note As for sightseeing, make sure not to disturb the people who work at Tsukiji as a lot of people and turret trucks pass by in the market.

In cooperation with: Ms. Yuka Mimura