Saturday, 20 December 2008

TV star

Firstly, thanks for all the comments - it's good to know I have readers :-)

It was particularly interesting to see the video that Steve linked to - me being a menace to society at Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. We knew that it was the last day it was open to tourists before we went (as the period around new year is the busiest of the year for them). The TV crews were there in force - interesting to see the story spun as "tourists are an evil menace". There are clearly many sides to this - we certainly saw thoughtless people blocking traffic in what is a busy working market, but we also saw many tourists behaving with due courtesy and it really is a fascinating place to visit. Didn't see any fish licking, but you cant have it all.

My abiding feeling is that the market is missing an opportunity - it treats visitors as a barely tollerable evil. It lets them in, but provides zero signage or guidance and then gets upset when they (given little option in the cramped conditions) get in the way. Where's the entrepreneurial spirit? What I'd hope for is some signage and defined paths for tourists that gives them guidance (we certainly had our "where should we be" moments) and keeps them out of the way. Once you have them where you want them you can then start to extract cash from said tourists - sell them stuff, give demonstrations of fish skills (OK, I'm reaching here!), charge for the best bits etc. If I ran the market it'd be different...

Anyway, its apparently moving to new premises in 2012 so there's a perfect opportunity to build in the overhead tourist gantry that allows us gaijin to see what's going on in a frankly quite amazing place without us getting in the way and being demonised on TV for it.

Apparently its going to rain tomorrow, so I might be back on line quite soon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great blog, will you be making it to the big screen!!!! Where was K, was she being interviewed, and if so where is that clip. Take care. M&D