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A taste of Tokyo

Award-winning Danish chef René Redzepi has taken his world-famous Michelin-starred restaurant Noma more than 8,500 km across the globe to Tokyo, Japan. The move gave Redzepi the opportunity to realise his desire to explore Japan’s cuisine, ingredients and culture. “You can find absolutely everything in the culinary field. You can enjoy the best pizza or dine at the trendiest, most expensive restaurants, but you can also have a dish that dates 500 years back in time.”

Octopus at Tsukiji Fish Market

Octopus at Tsukiji Fish Market

Visit the Tsukiji Fish Market

This fish market is worth a visit in the early hours of the morning. As only 120 people are allowed in, and free tickets are distributed on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, it’s best to get there between 3am and 4am and apply for your ticket at the Osakana Fukyu Center by the Kachidoki Gate. The auction starts at 5.25am. Inside the vast hall, hundreds of deep-frozen tuna, sorted by size, lie on the floor in long rows. Buyers move slowly among them, armed with hooks. After a while an auctioneer starts the bidding from a chair in the middle of the hall.

Fresh raw tuna

Fresh raw tuna

Best sushi in Tokyo

If you’re not such an early bird, then you can always visit the wholesale fish market (the largest in the world) from 9am, or peruse the wider variety of wares on offer in the adjacent outdoor market until 2pm. And when you’re done ‘window shopping’ the fish, Redzepi advises you drop by Sushi Zanmai, which is situated in Tsujiki. You can eat the best sushi for next to nothing, 24 hours a day. “Finding food of such excellent quality at 6am would be impossible anywhere else.”

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