Temporary Measure to Tourists
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) announced that the tuna auctions will be closed to the tourists for a month starting from April 8th to May 8th, 2010.
The situation and how it affects our tour is as the follows:
I had a tour on April 8th, which was the first day of the new measure, and I report you 3-points: 1. There is a so-called 'Visitor Passage' at the froze blue fin tuna site and that Passage will be closed until May 8. 2. The restrictions to tourists at the other tuna sites are also tighter than before. 3. The other auctions besides the tuna auctions are the same as before.
Basically, my tour time table shown below on this website doesn't change only for the point that the observations of the tuna auctions will be shorter because the restriction doesn't allow us to make close-ups or to stop and watch--We have to watch the auctions from a little distance, while constantly walking. In the meantime, depending on the conditions, we will have to do some extra stuff like going to the rooftop of the Market to get a grand view of the whole site or something.
Meanwhile, for people that are very much concentrated in taking close-up photos of the tuna auction, the restriction is good enough a reason to give up your tour.
I also have to say that my short section, "How to tour the Market on your own..." won't work anymore within the period of the temporary measure by the TMG.
April 10th, 2010
PS: The new measure was decided because of a mess that occurred at the tuna auction sites on Saturday April 3rd and Monday April 5th.
I was at the scene. The number of tourists was very large (about 500 people), but above that, most of the TMG security guards were fresh people started from April and they very poorly organized the Visitor Passage, which only had a load limit of about 70-people. The guards made a long line of tourists waiting outside, and they made it in the wrong direction in front of another tuna auction site--the fresh tuna site, which is the largest money-maker of the Market! The tourists jammed the deliverymen in a rush for delivery and a very serious mess took place.
But you couldn't put the blame too much on the fresh guards because it is also very true that the numbers of tourists are too big sometimes these days for a Market that hasn't so much space.