Tsukiji Market should be high on the to-do, or must-eat, list of travelers to Tokyo. On display is an astounding variety of fish and shellfish that is central to Japanese cuisine, along with soy sauces, seaweed, produce, kitchen gadgets, and every ingredient that Tokyo cooks might need. For anyone curious about Japanese cuisine, it’s a feast for all the senses.
A bustling fish market, in a country where you don’t speak the language, may sound intimidating. See it on a tour with AFAR partner Context Travel, however, and not only does it become easy to navigate, but you’ll also end up with a wealth of cultural knowledge about the role of seafood and markets in Japan.
Context’s private, small group, and custom tours are limited to six participants, and are designed specifically to foster conversations between local experts and travelers who love to learn. Plus, Context experts are all PhD and M.A.-level specialists and professionals in their fields, affording them the unique knowledge to bring a city to life through the lens of food, history, art, archaeology, and more.
The Tokyo food tour is just one from Context Travel that introduces visitors to the flavors, dishes, and ingredients of Asia’s cuisines. Here are others that gourmets on the go will want to add to their itineraries.
Discover Hong Kong’s Food Scene This Savoring Hong Kong Food Tour embodies one of the best aspects of Context Travel’s private tours: They can be tailored to your preferences. Your guide—an expert in all aspects of life in Hong Kong, including its cuisine—can focus on traditional Cantonese dishes, dim sum favorites, or local sweet treats. Whether you’re sampling the roast goose at a Michelin-starred restaurant or trying a pineapple bun (one of Hong Kong’s unique culinary creations) you’ll end your tour sated.
Get Introduced to Shanghai’s Culture If you’ve ever visited a busy restaurant in China and wished you were with a knowledgeable local to help you order—and then explain the complex dishes—this Taste of Old Shanghai, A Curated Meal is the perfect excursion for you. An authority on Shanghai cuisine will join you for a meal at the restaurant Xiao Baihua, a local favorite. You’ll sample appetizers, soups, and other dishes that embody the unique character of Shanghai cuisine, which is known for combining traditional local cooking with the many foreign influences that have shaped this cosmopolitan port.
Tasting the Flavors of Tokyo The guides who lead the Tokyo Food Tour: Savoring Tsukiji Outer Market are all fluent in Japanese, but that’s only the beginning of their expertise. They bring insider knowledge of all facets of the country’s culture, including its culinary traditions. Your tour of the market will begin with a visit to an exhibition of historic woodblock prints and vintage photographs of the market. Then you’ll begin a delicious walking tour, with stops to try rice balls, tamagoyaki (a sweet omelet), meat dumplings, and more. At the end of the tour you’ll sit down to a meal of raw fish over rice (kaisendon), tempura, or sushi.
Sample Singapore’s Street Food The Hawker Centre Hopping: Singapore Food Tour focuses on the city’s food courts—essential stops for anyone who wants to taste a dazzling variety of Asian street food dishes. In this multicultural city, Indian, southern Chinese, Peranakan, and Malay dishes are all served at different stalls. On this tour, you’ll have the perfect dinner companion—their guides include food consultants and serious connoisseurs of Singapore’s different cuisines. You’ll also make some interesting non-culinary stops at places like the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple.
Learn more about Context Travel and use code AFAR10 at checkout for 10% off your first group or private tour!