金曜日, 5月 21st, 2010...10:09 am

Tsukiji- Tuna Auction Observation Trip

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Tsukiji- Tuna Auction Observation Trip
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At Tsukiji Fish Market, Japan’s “kitchen,” it is possible to watch frozen tuna be auctioned off. This market is popular among foreign tourists, but because of the hindrance it caused, the auction stopped allowing sightseers to enter and watch for the month of December in 2009. For the first time in a month, JAPAN TWO’s members got together went to Tsukiji.

Tsukiji- Tuna Auction Observation Trip

Our group getting into the taxi at 3:00am, while it was still dark outside

■The number of people allowed to watch the auctions every day is limited to 140.
The tuna auctions are where professionals do serious business and in order to see them, it is necessary to arrive as early as 4:30am. Tourists, after going through the reception area at the west side of the market (おさかな普及センター資料館), are split into two groups and are given yellow vests to wear.

Tsukiji- Tuna Auction Observation Trip

The reception area just after 4am

Around forty people were already lined up, and with us included, Japanese tourists were few.

Tsukiji- Tuna Auction Observation Trip

After checking in, sightseers wait inside, and can watch the informational video or read the pamphlet given, to pass the time.


■5 O’clock comes at last. Now on to the auctions.

After being directed by one of the guards, everyone makes their way into the auction building. An area specifically for tourists has been prepared, and it is not permitted to wander outside of that area. It is also not permitted to use the flash function when taking pictures.

Tsukiji- Tuna Auction Observation Trip

Visitor Entrance

Tsukiji- Tuna Auction Observation Trip

Upon entering the auction building

Tsukiji- Tuna Auction Observation Trip

It is worth seeing these giant tuna weighing more than 200kg lined up on the ground

Tsukiji- Tuna Auction Observation Trip

IMG_1468Tsukiji- Tuna Auction Observation Trip

The tails have been all been cut off

Tsukiji- Tuna Auction Observation Trip

Tourists in the observation area

Tsukiji- Tuna Auction Observation Trip

Evaluating each tuna before the auction starts

Tsukiji- Tuna Auction Observation Trip

Professionals doing their stuff

Tsukiji- Tuna Auction Observation Trip

Prices depend on the color and shape of the meat as well as on the amounts of fat

Tsukiji- Tuna Auction Observation Trip

Checking the color

Tsukiji- Tuna Auction Observation Trip

The bells ring and the auction begins

Tsukiji- Tuna Auction Observation Trip

The auctions finish almost as soon as they began. It is impossible to make out what the auctioneers say, even if it is Japanese.

This tuna was taken from the Indian Ocean by a Korean ship. It can be said that the world’s tuna comes to Tsukiji.

Tsukiji- Tuna Auction Observation Trip

At Tsukiji market there are several separate areas for frozen tuna, raw tuna, etc. Today we saw the auction for frozen tuna and the room was incredible cold. The tuna sold at auction are dissembled at Tsukiji and sent out to sushi restaurants, Japanese cuisine restaurants, supermarkets and more.

The market at Tsukiji is said to be the best in the world, but there are talks of moving the market to Toyosu, another place in Tokyo. It may also become impossible to watch the auctions happen live, so for those who have never visited the Tsukiji market, I recommend going at least once while you can.

Getting up early in the morning may be difficult, but it is definitely worth going to see the place where tens of thousands of dollars worth of money is moved around with the flick of a finger.

If tourists are to be allowed to watch the tuna auctions live, the following rules need to be followed.

1. There are areas where tourists are not permitted to enter, so please check the maps at the entrances to verify where these areas are.

2. It is necessary to wear the vest given, to show that you have permission to enter the observation area. After the auctions finish please return the vest to the guard.
3. Do not use flashes when taking pictures. It distracts the auctioneers.
4. Travel in small groups of five people or less. Keep out of the way of moving vehicles on the premise.
5. Leave the market before 9am, when the wholesale area closes.

Tsukiji- Tuna Auction Observation Trip

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