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Thursday, 4th December 2008
In General Japan News,

Tuna Markets ban tourists

Visitors to Japan hoping to pick up a fishy purchase may be disappointed.

The growing number of tourists who turn up to watch tuna auctions at the Tsukiji fish market has led to them being banned by the metropolitan government of Tokyo because they slow down business.

A metropolitan official told the Mainichi Daily News: "It's not a bad thing for Tsukiji to gain attention, but with the risk of injury to visitors, and the potential to affect business during the busy Year End and New Year season, it's unavoidable."

The Tuna Markets are among the most popular attractions in Tokyo - along with Akihabara and Asakusa - and it is common for as many as 500 visitors to turn up to view proceedings.

It is believed the interest in tuna auctioneering began with the so-called "sushi boom" a decade ago.

Outside the wholesale market itself is a number of thriving small restaurants and retail shops which continue to welcome visitors in.

Related news stories:
Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association suggests car market growth (3rd January 2013)
Japan's "fish obsession" highlighted (26th February 2010)