News: Tsukiji Fish Market now offlimits due to foreigners

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The Asahi Newspaper is reporting (2005.05.09) that the famous tuna auctions at the Tsukiji Metropolitan Fish Market in Tokyo is off limits to tourists because of the "bad behavior of foreigners." Speaking as a frequent photographer there -- I can agree: foreigners were getting in the way of the merchants who were there to make a living, but so were some Japanese, it's just that we blended in more. The foreign visitors that I saw when I visited were both in the way of traffic and using the flashes on their cameras during auctions, which is very distracting. Visitors to the tuna auction will now need to get a permit from their local city or merchant association. The outside stalls in the Fish Market remain open.

The original article:

築地のマグロ競り見学、原則禁止 外国人のマナー違反で


See my Tsukiji photography here. I did caution visitors in my article that they needed to be on their best behavior. Tsukiji's tuna auction has been closed before and only recently opened up to visitors again. I expect it will be several more years before we'll get free access again.

For more information and details on what type of permission you will need, please contact the Tsukiji Market directly:


Someone wrote in:
Hi, Karen,
Thanks for the informative site. I visit Japan regularly and I've been thinking about shooting a few frames at Tsukiji. Your advice is very handy, I appreciate it. I'm especially interested, as you can imagine, in stuffing my face with fresh sashimi and other goodies, said to be at their freshest there.

Should I bring media credentials, or do they simply allow passersby to walk around? I can bring a local resident along with me, but I'm afraid they'll be bored. Do you think it's needed?

Thanks in advance for your advice, and thanks for the online info.

They're not letting anyone into the tuna auctions right now unless you're approved by either the Tsukiji merchant association or one of your local merchant associations. If you have a Japanese friend, ask them to contact Tsukiji to tell them that you're a press person and to get you credentialed. I can't help with that since I went in before the new system. - Karen

This means only the tuna auctions every morning from 4-6 a.m., right? After that time is it like before?

Only the fresh tuna auctions are closed to visitors without permits. The rest of Tsukiji marketplace is open.

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This page contains a single entry by Karen Nakamura published on May 9, 2005 4:06 PM.

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