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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
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Things to do in Japan

Going backstage at Tokyo’s fish market

Plunging into the hustle and bustle of the world’s largest fish market makes you appreciate just how important seafood is in Japan…

By Takeaki Shibuya
Experience coordinator for Destination Asia, Alfred&'s partners in Japan

Plunging into the hustle and bustle of the world’s largest fish market makes you appreciate just how important seafood is in Japan’s food culture. Since the market moved to new premises in 2018, though, most visitors have had to watch the action from behind glass screens to stop them getting in the way – so being able to go behind the barriers with a licensed buyer is a truly special experience. The buyer knows some of the friendlier stall owners personally and takes guests to chat to them about what they’re selling. The range of produce is staggering, and you certainly come away understanding how productive the waters around Japan are.

The country’s best-known fish dish is sushi, and a lesson in the precise technique of making it is only enriched by having taken in the spectacle of the market beforehand. I found it fascinating to prepare the fish from start to finish: skinning, filleting, slicing and finally making the pieces of sushi themselves. I’d be lying if I said that then eating what I’d made wasn’t the highlight for me, however…

One of the chefs was very muscular, and a member of the group asked if handling all those big fish had made him so strong. It turned out that he was also a martial artist. We wondered if that was part of an exercise regime to make sure he can lift heavy boxes of ingredients or cooking implements, but apparently it’s just because your arms are often on display as a sushi chef and, as he put it, he wants people to enjoy looking at his strong arms and hands as he makes their sushi!


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Alfred & Takeaki Shibuya

After 14 years of experience travelling in more than 70 countries as a tour conductor and planner, Takeaki has come home to Japan, which he truly believes is the most unique place in the world to explore. His unusual experiences are a source of creation which draws out the esoteric and the hidden of Japan.
Takeaki Shibuya from our partners in Japan, Destination Asia

Plan your holiday withAlfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Richard, who's travelled extensively in Japan. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the tea devotee who'll introduce you to the ceremony surrounding Japan's national drink, the noodle guru who'll teach you how to make the perfect bowl of soba and the ryokan owner who'll tutor you in the relaxing art of the onsen.

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