1. Before the tighter restrictions
Photo by Per Nordstrom
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Lars Thulin, who is an photo journalist from Hong Kong, has took our Tour on April 9th 2005.
This exciting photo was shot by Joe Shaw
who took our tour on October 6th 2005
(Click on for larger image).
Photo by Joe Shaw
Anita Crotty, a travel writer and editor (and also a Mexican-food addict, in her own words) has took our tour on 2005 December 27th and submitted the following kind words on mouthfulsfood.com, which is a community run site for discussing food, wine, fashion and life in general, on 2006 February 3rd.
She is also a regular contributor to various gourmets and travel sites such as Chowhound.com, forums.egullet.org and journeywoman.com.
guides who took us around Tsukiji have a website at: http://homepage3.nifty.com/tokyoworks/TsukijiTour/TsukijiTourEng.htm|
The tour costs 7,500 yen (approximately $63/35) per person.
Nakamura-san and Yoshino-san speak fluent English, and they're incredibly well-versed in the ins and outs of the market. They both used to work in Tsukiji for different wholesalers, and Yoshino-san lived in San Francisco years ago. I am sure that we saw things (like the uni showroom) that we would never have found on our own. Their explanations helped us understand the things we saw, rather than just being amused by the visual experience. If our guides didn't know the answers to a question, they would ask the vendors and show genuine interest in the answers themselves.
The only tricky part of the operation was the reservation, and even that isn't hard. They've got major spam-blockers running on their email account, so you need to post their message board with your preferred date, and they will email you back.
The first morning, we ate at Sushi-sei, a traditional sushi bar in the outer market. We ordered the middle of the three set menus, and enjoyed everything very much. Nobody spoke any English, but it wasn't a major problem... it just meant that we couldn't chat with the sushi chefs! The second morning, Cameron went to Sushi-zanmai, a more-modern, casual sushi-place a couple of streets over. He said both were very good, but Sushi-sei was measurably better. (I, on the other hand, went to Yoshinoya.)...
Photo by award winning photographer, Ali Bullock
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Photo by Mike Kobb
|This highly descriptive photo was shot by a senior software
engineer Mike Kobb, who took our tour on May 2nd 2006, on his way back
from business in China. Together with this magnificent photo, he provided
us an endorsement for our tour in his very kind words as the follows.|
The start of my last full day in Japan came early. Really early. In fact, I got up at 3:00am. Why in the world would I do such a thing? Well, by 3:45 I had to catch a cab to Tsukiji 4-chome to meet up with Mr. Naoto Nakamura and Mr. Eizaburo Yoshino, who give guided tours of the famous Tsukiji fish market and auctions three days a week.
Both of these gentlemen speak very good English and both used to work in the industry. They're familiar with the markets and have friends who still work there, so they're able to guide you around behind the scenes to see the preparation for the auctions for some of the best seafood in the world. The only rub is, the auctions start early, so if you want to see the preparation beforehand, you have to get there by about 4am. It's worth it. Just plan on a nap later in the day.
I might have managed to navigate to the market on my own, but I would never have seen 1/10th as much as I saw, or understood what little I would have seen without the expert guidance of Mr. Nakamura and Mr. Yoshino. They know where it's allowed (and safe!) to go and where to take you for the most interesting activities at the market. Definitely don't be put off by the early hour. By the time the tuna auction starts, you will have seen so much more and will understand how these fish got to be where they are.
|This photo on the right was shot by Michael Adams from
Illinois State,USA, who took our tour on May 20th, 2006. He also provided
us his endorserment as the follows:
Most tours are of old buildings, museums or ruins. This tour is different in two ways; It's of a real- life, action-packed enterprise and your guides are "insiders" who have the knowledge to meaningfully describe it. Under their care I walked wide-eyed through a labyrinth of sea creatures and the people who make their living by them. Sights ranged from the errie fog of the frozen tuna cold processing rooms to the studious gaze of the buyers figuring what each fish is worth and later, haggling at auction. It's a fascinating place with a history and rhythm you get to know as no wandering tourist ever could.
Along the way is an incredible variety of sea life and businesses. The live fish section is especially interesting and its clear there isn't much someone won't eat! The market is huge and full of hidden gems I'd have never found by myself. Mr. Yoshino and Mr. Nakamura are great guys quickly earn your confidence. No language barriers. These men are experts at their business and put the changing scenery into perspective, making sense of the action swirling around you. 4am seems and is awfully early. But, believe me, its worth it. I'd almost forgotten the fun of being amazed.
Photo by Michael Adams
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Photo by Liz Habermann
Nicholas & Michael Dalton took out tour on October 3rd 2006.
Below are the stories and thoughts they kindly sent to us!
"My son Nicholas and I were on a Australian School trip to Japan for two weeks in October 2006. Nicholas had booked the trip over the Internet prior to departing Australia.
As we were staying in a youth hostel in Tokyo that had a 'lockdown' from 1100 pm to 6.00 am this required us to stay at another hotel which would then allow us to take the tour which commenced at 4 am (such was our commitment and enthusiasm to take this Tsukiji Fish Market Tour).
We did this and a taxi picked us up from the hotel at 3 am and then we proceeded to the intersection of Tsukiji 4 chome where (after a much needed coffee at 24 hour restaurant "Jonathon") we met Naoto & Eizaburo.
At that time of the morning both Nicholas and I commented that we had never seen so many taxis in our life on the way to the Tsukiji Fish Market!!!!
Prior to commencing the tour we said a prayer at the nearby shrine located with in the Fish Market Precinct.
From that point onwards until the end the tour it was absolutely amazing to see the myriad of sea creatures, the people involved with Fish Market, especially the auctioneers and the sheer frenzy of motorized trolleys transporting produce around.
The market was full of surprises to us, as we had never seen such a variety and volume of fish and marine life as this.
Both Naoto and Eizaburo's expert knowledge of the Fish Markets made the tour very educational and memorable.
Of particular note was the live fish section; middle mans shop and tuna butchering which was really interesting.
We also had time to view the parts of the Vegetable market, which also is a part of the Tokyo Wholesale Central Market.
We would highly recommend this trip to anyone considering a visit to Japan".
|Ramon Huaracha Jr.-san from San Francisco took our tour on December 15th. 2007 and kindly sent us his compliments.||(Quote)...Thank
you for offering the tour of the fish market. It was well worth it. I did
a walking tour of virtually all of the districts in Tokyo and I can say
that the Tsukiji Fish Tour was the highlight of my trip (I enjoyed it slightly
more than the morning Sumo practice that I saw). I will recommend it to
anyone who plans to visit Tokyo.|
Link to Jake Richter's Photos and Comments!
|I don't want to put ranks on our customers but I think
I have to admit that the followings are the greatest collection of photos
of our tour. You can find them at the following web site.|
Jake Richter took our tour on December 5th, 2006.
I believe that I am the one that feels most that these photos are really exciting. It is because I know about Tsukiji, and Jake Richter's photos are all taken at the very best points of the Tsukiji workers' work that are taking place.
You can also read his comments about our tour here.
Link To Eudon Yap's Photos and Comments!
|Well, I have to admit that there exists many talents with
many different tastes around the world! Here's another exciting site you
could watch at.|
Eudon Yap-san took our tour on August 28th, 2007. Unique low angle shots took in the two-days of visiting the Market and his very detailed comments prove that passion is the best tool to get exciting photos.
Link To Craig Cooper's Photos and Comments!
|Things evolve! You see some photos, and they are so good
that you believe that nothing better would come out.|
But here came these set of grainy black and white photos by Craig Cooper! He took our tour on October 18th, 2007.
The slideshow moved me! The photos reminded me of the Time & Life magazines, Magnum photographers, Capa... I really like the tone of his photos! It was like watching a very old and fine documentary film.
Photo by Craig Cooper
Photo by Lisa Vogt
To the Tsukiji Tour page
To the page of TokyoWorks
Photo by Colin Evans
Photo by Janine Cheung
See more photos by Janine Cheung