Tsukiji market is the largest fish wholesales market in the world. This market is operating everyday except Sunday and National holidays.
If you want to see the tuna auction, you have to go there really early in the morning (like 2am?). Since the number of visitors is limited, you need to be there really really early to line up. I have never been to the tuna auction myself (not a morning person, you know lol) but I am a big fan of sushi and have been to Tsukiji market many times, mostly shopping on Saturday morning.
In Nov 2016, Tsukiji market will be moved to the new location. I am wondering what will happen with this current location? There is so many things going on here. The shops surrounding are alive because Tsukiji market located where it is right now. So if you are planning to visit Tokyo this or next year, you shouldn’t miss the chance to visit this market.
Last week, I was invited to the Tsukiji morning tour. Oh my, what’s an eye opening experience! As I mentioned, I have been to Tsukiji market many times but never that someone explains about the market and how to choose fish for sushi to me.
Meeting point : Tsukiji Station on Subway Hibiya line 8.30am
We met our guide then moved to Tsukiji market.
The morning market is as busy as ever!
After the walk at the market, we will go to Edo-jidai sushi to learn how to make sushi. Sashimi is prepared so we don’t have to buy anything, just need to know how to choose one.
There are 2 kinds of Tuna, fresh and frozen one. Fresh one is more expensive than frozen.
Fresh tuna or Nama maguro in Japanese
The fatty maguro, or Otoro, is the most expensive one it seems.
This is one of the knife used to cut maguro… it should be about 1.5 meters long!
The shops are really busy early in the morning (6-8 am) when all the chefs come to the market to pick their fish.
This is fresh wasabi. Have you ever seen one? (not cheap either, 24,000yen/kilo)
We walked around observing the market for about one hour. After that, we walked to Edo Jidai sushi (meaning Edo period sushi) to learn how to make sushi.
Edo Jidai sushi >> Map
Chef is explaining to us what we will be doing today.
I am always wondering why there isn’t any female sushi chef. At least, in my years in Japan, I have never met one.
Actually, there are many female chefs but perhaps not as many as male chefs. The reason is because, woman’s hand (palm) is believed to be warmer than men. It’s not good for sashimi. According to our chef, female chefs are usually whose who has family business. It’s not very common.
First we learn how to make “Nigiri sushi”
Trust me, it’s not as easy as it seems!
Three down, more to go
These are made by our chef. He is good!
Next, sushi roll or “Maki sushi”
Being a chef!
Now we get to eat our original sushi for lunch!
Voice from our participants today;
Mr. Traore from Mali
“Earn a master in sushi making
The other day I had the opportunity to have a sushi master workshop in Tsukiji with Tokyo tourist information center.
Have already heard about Tsukiji market? If not it’s the biggest fish market and one the favorite destination for visitors in Japan
After meeting with our guide at Tsukiji station we visited the market and then escort to a nearby sushi restaurant where we met with the very friendly restaurant staffs one of whom was to be our teacher for this workshop.
Without wasting time we quickly wash our hands, change our clothes to put on the white chef coat as if we were already a real “sushi chef” and go down to business.
Speaking honestly I had never regarded sushi making as a big deal; I just thought it was simply putting “raw fish or shrimp on top the rice, and yes I was confident that I will just past this “Master test” with flying colors…. but it turn out to be the opposite.
Sushi making requires being very skillful you need have agile hand like a pottery artist to stick the peace of fish and rice together without crushing any of them.
Also the precision with which the sushi chef uses the knife to slice the fish was just amazing and impossible to imitate without being a pro
Our chef, a very kind man taught us various techniques of hand movements to make a good sushi. After many trials we were able to do our own as you can see.
Apart from the sushi itself I learnt that sushiya or sushi store is a good place to learn about Japanese culture, staff has to take into account any single detail about their customers. Because of all this it takes long time to be a real maker.
Of course I did fail my exam but I have a lot of fun for this first experience and I’m ready to take up to the challenge again; you too, give it a try when you’re around in Japan.”
Tsukiji morning tour and sushi making experience (Private tour)
Tour price : 18,000 yen/person
Or contact us at any Tokyo tourist information center