Tsukiji to shut out sightseers for one month

Kyodo News

The Tsukiji fish market will prevent sightseers from watching its popular frozen tuna auction from Thursday to May 8 because too many tourists have been obstructing the transactions, market officials said Tuesday.

The visitors section of the auction is scheduled to reopen May 10, which falls on a Monday. Wholesale sections and eating areas in the Tokyo market will remain open, they said.

On Monday morning more than 500 gawkers, mostly foreign, swarmed the visitors section, which has a capacity of only 70 to 80. The excessive numbers disrupted the day’s business, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said.

The market temporarily shut out visitors during the last two New Year’s holidays, citing obstructive behavior by foreign visitors, such as using camera flashes.