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Tours for Tsukiji Market - Yay or Nay?

Malaysia
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Tours for Tsukiji Market - Yay or Nay?

Hello,

Planning to drop by Tsukiji Market on my next visit to Tokyo, and have been thinking on whether or not to join a tour (not planning to go for the tuna auction).

Any thoughts on whether going with a guide is worth it? I think it'll be nice to go with someone who's experienced and have some knowledge of the place (+ can speak the local language), rather than walking around "aimlessly". I've been to Nishiki in Kyoto without a guide, and felt that it was OK - although I think Tsukiji is a whole different level compared to that place.

Thanks!

15 replies to this topic
Tokyo, Japan
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1. Re: Tours for Tsukiji Market - Yay or Nay?

I think nay. Visit on your own. No tourists are actually officially allowed into the inner market area just for photo opportunities; you'd have to go in technically as a buyer, so purchase something which you can eat to feel comfortable and not hated as plain disturbers of trade.

The outer market and the diners have free entry.

Having said that, Tsukiji is mostly not an actual "fishing" market. You'd have to go to actual fishing port towns like Misaki or Nakaminato for the real experience. Tsukiji was built in 1920s, and it's rather old, ugly, and a bit unsanitary (that's why they have been trying to relocate it!).

Edited: 23 September 2017, 22:34
Malaysia
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2. Re: Tours for Tsukiji Market - Yay or Nay?

Ahh.. This is new. I guess even under a tour it'll mostly be around the outer market too?

Tokyo, Japan
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3. Re: Tours for Tsukiji Market - Yay or Nay?

I'm not sure, really. Perhaps JTB has some consent with the wholesalers on a tour; third party individuals without even proper guide license (viator?) perhaps go anyway regardless of how they are seen.

Actually, as I have mentioned, if you buy something, or at least seem to do so, you'd probably be fine inside the inner market; there is no membership check as such. However, do note that the inner market is for serious business and not a market intended for tourist photo shoots at all.

Edited: 23 September 2017, 22:48
Tokyo and California
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4. Re: Tours for Tsukiji Market - Yay or Nay?

"Since the market is very busy with trucks, forklifts, and small vehicles moving about, guests are asked to be especially careful and vigilant when they visit. Public guided-tours of Tsukiji Market are only available for groups of students (elementary school, junior and senior high school) and reservations may be made from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. There are no public tours for other visitors or in other time periods."

www.shijou.metro.tokyo.jp/english/tsukiji/

Whatever tour you join is not authorized by Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

El Paso, Texas
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5. Re: Tours for Tsukiji Market - Yay or Nay?

If you mean the outer market, then I would recommend a guided tour, otherwise you will be wandering around aimlessly again as in Kyoto.

We did Context Tour of Nishiki Market. The guide explained the foods that we were looking at. There was a surcharge to cover buying whatever snacks we fancied. He did the ordering for us.

We felt that we would have missed 50% of what was going on in the market without a guide.

So, yes, go for a guide this time for the outer market. I think Context Tour also offer tours in Tokyo.

El Paso, Texas
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6. Re: Tours for Tsukiji Market - Yay or Nay?

Yes, there is a Context Tour of Tsukiji outer market. Here's the link:

https:/…tasting-tsukiji-a-market-tour

Woodbridge, Virginia
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7. Re: Tours for Tsukiji Market - Yay or Nay?

We were there last month and used a guide from TourbyLocals.com You can walk through the fish market on your own, but having a guide made it more interesting. He was able to explain what the men were doing, why women were not doing the same jobs. Things like that. He thought us to be very careful because the workers are not at all happy that tourists are there. It was a interesting experience. Be advised that the market will be closing soon to be relocated, and it is closed on Wednesdays and Sundays. There wasn't any auctioning going on, you will just be seeing the people cleaning, packing, sawing, etc.

Hong Kong, China
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8. Re: Tours for Tsukiji Market - Yay or Nay?

It's fine to visit the inner market as a casual tourist as long as you always remember to yield to the folks who work there. Don't block the aisles unnecessarily and watch for the carts. Photos are fine. In fact, many people are quite friendly. You can even buy items from there as you see fit.

I don't really think a tour is necessary. Just walk around and soak in the atmosphere. You can watch some YouTube videos afterwards if you don't want to spoil the experience, or watch them before if you want to know what you will be seeing.

I think the outer market has an even less need for a guide. It's mostly shops serving food or selling food.

Tokyo and California
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9. Re: Tours for Tsukiji Market - Yay or Nay?

In addition to Sammy's comments above; Do not go to the inner market before 10am. Do not take any luggage or stroller and ask before taking pictures. Even at outer market, you should not have luggage and strollers!

Tsukiji is not closed on all Wednesdays, by the way. The majority of tourists think its closed on all Wednesdays so it makes a good day to visit if you can go there on a Wednesday when the market happens to be open:

www.shijou.metro.tokyo.jp/calendar/2017/

San Jose, California
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10. Re: Tours for Tsukiji Market - Yay or Nay?

I say nay. You can see plenty on your own. Rows and rows of food vendors. Just pick a few where others are gathered around and avoid buying sweets here. Just stick to fish.

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