Full-day Tokyo cultural tour
This morning, your private guide will meet at your hotel at 9 a.m. and drive you in a spacious private vehicle to Tsukiji morning market. Tsukiji is one of the largest wholesale fish markets in the world, importing a diversity of seafood from 60 countries on six continents. Stroll around the outer-market before entering the actual wholesale market, where you will see fish and seafood being prepared and sold. Sample some fresh sushi at a nearby restaurant. Next, we'll take a pleasant and peaceful stroll in Hamarikyu Garden, a vast landscaped park in the middle of Tokyo characterised by its tranquility. When we reach the reach the pier we'll board a cruise boat and sail down the Sumida River to Asakusa, discovering Tokyo’s skyline and bridges from a different perspective. Asakusa is one of Tokyo oldest and best-preserved districts and on arrival we'll walk along the Nakamise Dori merchant street to reach the Sensoji Temple, marked by its huge lantern. The Nakamise Dori merchant street dates back to the Edo period when the temple’s neighbours were given special permission to open their shops in the approach to the temple. Your guide will lead you to small streets where you can still feel the presence of Ancient Japan. You then have the choice of participating in one of two private traditional ceremonies, a Japanese tea ceremony or a calligraphy class. We finish the day with a visit to the Ginza district, known for having the most expensive real estate on earth and home to some of the country’s most prestigious companies, numerous brand shops, department stores, boutiques, bars and restaurants. Here, architects rival in imagination with fashion designers from all over the world, including the Swatch and the Hermes buildings. Also take some time to visit some of Ginza’s famous department stores, especially their basement floors and high-end food courts, where Tokyoites buy their delicacies.

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Pro-tip: You don't have to go into the actual market to see the fishes (unless you want to catch the tuna auction) because the nearby outer market - with a collection of different sushi stalls, souvenir shops and fish stores - are more than enough to give you a taste of the awesomeness that is Tsukiji Fish Market. Absolutely loved the experience here, where you can eat fresh live oysters for only 400 to 500 yen, or sample an assortment of other seafood like grilled squid and even crab, all freshly caught. There are also a whole loads of sushi restaurants and cafes, all at an affordable price, where you can try the food Japan is famous for. Highly recommend to visit for breakfast or lunch (they're closed from 2pm onwards). You can also shop for souvenirs here as well. My top spot for must-do in Tokyo.

The best part and the most memorable part of our Japan sojourn was a visit to the world famous Tsukiji Market to watch the unique Tuna auction. The market is arguably the world's largest fish market, handling over 2,000 tons of marine products per day. Only 120 visitors are allowed per day (only a certain number of days in a month) to see the legendary Tuna auction inside the market. The auction starts at around 5:25am and is over by 6:15am. However, you can't book a slot beforehand or via any agent/tour operator and each of the 120 visitors is chosen on a first-come, first-serve basis. It's free of cost but to find a place among the 120 you have to stand in the queue outside the tourist center of the market as early as 3am. Since the last metro of the corresponding subway line leaves at around 1215AM and we couldn't spend on the astronomically high taxi fare of Tokyo, we decided to take the last subway train to the market at 1215AM. We were the first and only two people in the queue. The security guard asked us to return at 3am as he said there is no point waiting on the footpath so early. However, we thought that if we leave the queue and comeback later, then we may end up missing the coveted slot of 120. So we decided to wait sleeplessly for the next 4 hours or the whole night, standing on the footpath/sidewalk. When the door was open we were the first two folks and the rest was an incredible experience. We were lucky enough to have the once-in-a-lifetime experience of watching how Tunas weighing 60/70/80KG were being auctioned at the drop of a hat with different finger gestures. The other interesting part was to see how the buyers check each of the tunas and its quality. As the market is being relocated next year, we didn't let the golden opportunity go.

AWESOME!!!!!!!! Even if you can't get into their tuna auction (you have to line up at 3am to get a spot) it's still worth coming here to check it out. Coming from Vancouver, the best way to compare is like a night market but condensed tenfold and 90% food. The seafood is fresh and made on the spot for you, it's delicious. We couldn't stop eating and only had to cause it was impossible to eat anymore.

A place used to be a wholesale fish market and now turns to a tourist attraction for sightseeing and for food. It is worth to visit there if you are new to Tokyo. Even if you are a repeated visitor, it is still a good place to go for seafood. You can find all kind of fresh seafood where hawkers are selling in small trucks and shops. There is tuna auction as well but you have to get up very early in the morning. There are a lot of restaurants and they are equally good. English menu is available.

Super fun fish market experience. Very clean and lots of street food plus restaurants to eat at, some non seafood options too. Would be amazing to see the tuna auditions if you arrive in the season. Otherwise the quality and freshness of the fish in the market restaurants was excellent. Really the perfect Tokyo experience and close to Ginza so can finish off the day there.

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