The Star: June 22, 2017


38 Thursday June 22 2017

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The Star


Put your taste buds to the test in Tokyo


•Add a winter warm-up in

Queensland to a Japan getaway

and enjoy a far shorter flight to

Tokyo with Jetstar. After flying

direct from Christchurch to the

Gold Coast, Jetstar’s 787

Dreamliner services deliver added

comfort at unbeatable value, as

you wing your way to Tokyo. For

extra-comfort, upgrade to the bestvalue

business class experience to

Japan. Bag a great fare deal and a

seat to suit at

•Navigating Tsukiji’s astonishing

mercantile mecca can be

bewildering, which is why I enlisted

the expertise of Context Travel,

who operate small-group guided

walking tours. My trusty guide,

John, unveiled Tsukiji’s tales,

secrets and insights with effortless

and eye-opening aplomb. Few

walking tours are packed with

such revelatory richness. www.

• By Mike Yardley

SELECTION: Seafood for sale at the Tsukiji Market.

ON ARRIVAL in Tokyo, I

was looking for a sure-fire

way to blitz the jet-lag.

The sensory onslaught

of Tsukiji Market fitted the

bill perfectly, as I revelled in

the colour, the cacophony

and organised chaos of

the world’s largest seafood


Spanning the size of 430

rugby fields, the market

metrics are gob-smacking.

It’s the stomping ground for

50,000 workers, where over

1700 stalls sell 2000-tonnes

of seafood daily, in 480

varieties. This grand encounter

with the kitchen of

Japan groans with polystyrene

crates proudly splayed

with every marketable sea

creature – including whale


Fancy watching the daily

Tuna Auction? You’ll need

to get here at the ungodly

hour of 3am, to score a visitor’s

slot in the tuna auction

room. The dealing is all

done by 6.30am.

Humming with postauction

activity, later in

the morning, a veritable

army of workers hauled

freshly sold fish on forklifts,

hand-carts and “turret

trucks”, like speed-freak

bees in a choreographed

hive. I gazed in awe of hulking

blue-fin tuna the size of


Half of Tokyo seemed to

be out sampling and shopping.

It’s a riveting introduction

to the core ingredients

in Japanese cuisine

and the ebullient vendors

happily hand-out free tastings.

I grazed on seaweed,

benito shavings, dumplings

in soybean flour, smoked

fish and kimchee squid.

Best of all, Tsukiji’s quintessential

sushi restaurants

offer the freshest raw fish

fix possible. My tour group

headed for Sushi Daiwa,

situated next to Sushi Dai,

which are the two famous

sushi houses. Their pilgrimage-like

pulling power

means you may well find

yourself queuing outside for

several hours. We lucked in,

with only a 15min wait.

Although they staff are

too polite to say so, you are

expected to eat and run

at these sushi counters.

Alongside the delectable

slivers of tuna draped over

a bed of rice, we noshed on

congee reel, sea urchin and

that celebrated Japanese

delight, tamagoyaki, egg

omelette roll.

If you’re sizing up one big

blow-out in Tokyo, the Park

Hyatt is the pinnacle of

high-end hospitality.

The city’s most decorated

hotel is the Park Hyatt

which graces the upperlevels

of a Kenzo Tangedesigned

high-rise, lording

over west Shinjuku.

Considered the father

of modern Japanese

architecture, he was the

master planner for the

rebuilding of Hiroshima

after World War 2. With

the hotel floors beginning

on the 41st level with the

glass-walled reception,

you can be assured your

accommodation will be

dressed with a sweeping

panorama of the neondrenched,


expanse of Tokyo.

Service is ultra-attentive

without being starchy.

Whether you’re staying

in-house or not, the dining

destinations are unmissable.

BUSY: Eat fresh raw fish at Sushi Daiwa.

HIGH-END: Experience panoramic

views from a room at the Park Hyatt.

Spend $10 at

a participating

airport outlet

during June

for your chance

to win.*

*For more details, go to

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