September 14, 2018
Tokyo- Tokyo's Tsukiji food market will offer a final tour of its tuna auction site on Saturday, ahead of the market's closure next month.
The iconic market in Chuo Ward is a popular tourist destination, particularly among people from abroad, because visitors are given an opportunity to take a close-up look at tuna auctions.
Subscriptions to Friday's tour of the wholesale area for frozen tuna reached the capacity of 120 as early as 2 a.m. (5 p.m. Thursday GMT), according to Tokyo metropolitan government officials.
Friday's tour was open to the media.
The auction started around 6 a.m. Tour participants were divided into two groups before entering the auction area, where 253 frozen tunas were lined up for sale. Taking photos, the visitors watched the auction enthusiastically.
The metropolitan government has introduced restrictions for the tour, including on the number of participants, due to problems with visitors who did not understand Japanese and thus did not follow rules. Examples include taking pictures with flash lights and touching tuna.
The new market at Toyosu in Koto Ward, which will open on Oct. 11 to take over functions from Tsukiji, will not provide a similar tour for hygienic reasons. Visitors will be allowed to watch tuna auctions only through a glass wall.
The final business day at the wholesale section of the Tsukiji market is set for Oct. 6. Jiji Press
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