In October of 2018, the famous Inner Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo closed, and a majority of the activities moved to the new and shiny Toyosu Fish Market. Now, a majority of visitors are no longer allowed to enter the commercial and wholesale areas of the Toyosu Market. The keyword here is most, I was allowed to enter this forbidden seafood haven because I joined the Tokyo Sushi Insider Workshop by Sushi Mafia which includes a VIP tour of the commercial area of the Toyosu Fish Market! If you didn’t remember, I also experienced the absolutely incredible Tokyo Sushi & Sake Night also by Sushi Mafia which you can read about here. This experience includes a sushi making class and lunch after the Toyosu Market tour by Morio Hori, a seasoned professional sushi chef.
The tour started at 9 in the morning at the ticket gate of the nearby Shijo-Mae station. Before I knew it, we were quickly entering the commercial area of the Toyosu Market where once again, tourists are generally not allowed. This felt very sneaky but actually, Sushi Mafia can offer this exclusive access. We got to see where professionals come to buy their raw ingredients, and I must say, it was very interesting! Just don’t get ran over by all of the speedy buggies driving around!
We spent some time exploring all the fresh items in the commercial area, and then moved on to the other market’s public area. The market area open to the public was basically a Japanese supermarket with a lot of extras. A great place to get souvenirs and taste tea!
After we had some samples and bought fish, we headed over to the Tsukiji Outer Market. We transferred in a very nice van provided by Sushi Mafia. Upon arrival, we entered a sea of people. While at the Tsukiji Outer Market, we got to witness how a fish goes from peacefully swimming in the water, to becoming ready to cook. It was interesting to see the process from start to finish, I had actually never seen it done with this much attention to detail before.
The tour portion of the experience had come to a close, and I was getting hungry! Luckily it was time to go back to the Sushi Mafia Lab to learn how to fillet fish and make sushi. The lesson started with watching a professional chef cut a large piece of tuna into slabs for sushi making. We got to sample it, perfectly fatty, it melted in my mouth like butter! Next, I learned all of the details for how to fillet a fish myself! They told me I was a natural, I hope they weren’t just being nice.
The next thing we knew, we had a giant plate of sashimi in front of us and were learning how to form sushi ourselves. I knew from last time that Sushi Mafia doesn’t play games with their ingredients, this fish was very high-quality and super tasty. I was quite proud of my sushi!
It was then time to eat our creations, and a few more supplied by the Sushi Mafia chefs. There’s also an option for sake pairing with the lunch, which I would recommend, as it doesn’t get much better than sushi and sake. Everything was absolutely delicious, including the fried sardines that were made from what we filleted earlier. Halfway through the meal, the chef seared sushi in front of us with a flame, and then added lemon and salt. This might be one of my new favorite ways to eat sushi, it was phenomenal!
After an incredibly action-packed day, the whole experience was coming to an end, unfortunately. With a full belly and a lot of knowledge, it was time to head home. I’d like to commend the whole Sushi Mafia team for doing a great job. All in all, I can highly recommend this experience with Sushi Mafia in Tokyo, Japan! This is an opportunity to learn an incredible amount as well as eating some very tasty food.
Japan, 〒104-0045 Tokyo, Chūō, Tsukiji, 2−6-9
Phone: +81 3-3216-7297