Important Covid-19 Update. Our client’s safety is important to us, and travel will resume when the travel ban (including the 14-day quarantine) is lifted both in Japan and the United States. Next Spring, we will offer two “off the beaten track” tours to escape the large cities and to enjoy the rural parts of Japan. First, is Textiles of Kyushu, a unique opportunity to experience Japanese culture and textile in the southern island of Japan. Second is Edible Japan, which will be a modified version of the original Culinary Tour with an extra day in the Shinshu region with sake brewery tour, miso making and knife shop visits. Stay well and be safe.

Tokyo, Travel Journal

The last week of October, I spent about three days in Tokyo meeting restaurant owners, going to cooking schools  and checking out ramen shops. I spent the last day of my trip  hanging out at Tsukiji – the world’s largest fish market. The day I visited Tsukiji, it was unusually warm, pleasant and sunny.  I found myself relaxed and carefree as I strolled through the market admiring the shops and soaking up the spirit of the market.

On Monday, Tsukiji was bustling with energy, and everyone was preoccupied with their day’s business and driving their turret trucks at full speed. Tourists are everywhere.  The coolers at food stalls were filled with catches of the season such as snow crab, pike fish, squid, salmon, mackerel and shelves with green tea, seaweed, bonito flakes, miso, pickled vegetables, wasabi roots and much more.  As a matter of a fact, “Food Town” is a word used in Japanese to describe Tsukiji as one can find nearly everything you need for making  traditional Japanese food.  This is also where world class seafood auctions take place surrounded by a maze of retail shops and all kinds of restaurants.

Food at Tsukiji
Food at Tsukiji

I had a morning meeting with Mr. Noguchi who assisted me with planning a sushi workshop at near by restaurant for our guests during our tour.  I was in luck that day as Mr. Noguchi treated me to a  private, behind-the-scenes  tour of the market.  As you might know, due to its  years of heavy use and also to make way for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, Tsukiji’s inner market is moving this summer to Toyosu, a man-made island near by (if you sign up with us for our April and June trips, you might still be able to see the inner market as a group).

Fish for Sale at Tsukiji
Fish for Sale at Tsukiji

One of the must to do thing at Tsukiji is to shop and eat at one of the many restaurants serving the freshest sushi you can buy. After my meeting with Mr. Noguchi, I squeezed myself into a counter seat at very busy sushi restaurant and indulged on some of my favorites at the market; charred fally tuna, sea urchin, sardine, mackerel and salmon.

Store at Tsukiji
Store at Tsukiji

Hope to see you in Japan.

Happy Travels!

Tanpopo Studio

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