Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market in action
Tsukiji market, on the often-neglected Tokyo waterfront, is the largest wholesale fish market in the world.
It's also one of the busiest, and most visited, food markets anywhere.
The main section of the market is open to visitors from 9 a.m., leaving the earlier, hectic trading period solely to the professionals the market caters to -- apart, that is, from a handful of public observer spots that are usually snapped up before the sun rises.
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Whatever time you go, keep an eye out for the many electric delivery carts. And, as the signs on the market walls warn, don't go when you have a cold, don’t wear sandals and keep the flash on your camera in the off position.
Trouble in store
For a month in early 2010, the dawn tuna auctions were closed to the public after visitor antics “got out of hand.” That, anyway, was the official description of the boozed-up tourists who posed for photos licking the tuna, among other outrages.
However, the auctions are open again from 5 a.m., accommodating first-come admissions of up to 120 people.
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Despite the fact that it's a busy place of work and that recent “visitor issue,” the main market has a generally friendly atmosphere.
We visited early on a November morning to sample a flavor of the market in action.
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