Tuesday, 27th January 2009
In Business In Japan,
Tuna auctioneers: 'Please don't lick the fish'
Visitors to Japan's famous tuna auctions have been asked to respect the serious business that occurs at what is an increasingly popular tourist attraction.
In one recent incident, which was recorded by a Japanese film crew, a member of the public was seen licking the head of a frozen tuna.
Meanwhile, two others were caught riding on a cart usually used by tuna wholesalers, reports the Associated Press.
Yoshiaki Takagi, deputy director of the market, said some tourists insist on touching the fish, some of which can be sold for more than one million yen (£7,900).
He commented: "We understand that the sight of hundreds of frozen tuna looks unique and interesting for foreign tourists.
"But they have to understand the Tsukihi market is a professional place, not an amusement park."
A ban on tourists visiting the market was recently lifted.
The working day begins early in the market with wholesalers preparing their produce at around 03:00.
Related news stories:
Tsukiji fish market auction sets record price for Bluefin tuna (9th January 2013)
Japanese sushi restaurant breaks record with £470,000 tuna (5th January 2012)
Tuna costs £254,000 in Japan (7th January 2011)
Bluefin tuna bought fetches '8-year high' price (5th January 2009)