You heard it here at Chowhound. According to today`s Japan Times:
"Tsukiji Closes Auction to Fishy Tourist Hordes."
"Tsukiji....closed its famous tuna auction Monday because tourists` oohs and aahs have proven too much for merchants to handle."
Goes on to talk about "flashes of camera", "some tourists touch fish on sale" leading to "sanitary concerns"...
"While tourists will still be able to enter the market premises, the tuna auction will be roped off."
The world`s largest fish market does more than 1.7 billion yen in sales per day. 2,246 tons of seafood daily encorporating 450 kinds of seafood. Tuna being the most popular.
It was too good to be true. I am surprised that it took them this long to close it off to tourists. Will keep fellow chowhounds posted on what, if anything, changes. Personally, I stick to the outer market, which is always open to the public, for my shopping. Besides, who is up at 5 a.m. (aside from the jet-lagged tourists)? And it is in the outer market that Sushi Dai and Daiwa Sushi, and many of the other popular restaurants are. That is still available to the locals and the tourists.