Guide Yukari Sakamoto (left) with Mike and Laura at Tokyo's Tsukiji Market
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Using our powers for the good of the people
Newlyweds Laura Stern and Mike Soltz, of Springfield, N.J., were so in love with Japan that they delayed their honeymoon for months until they could find two weeks to fully explore their dream destination. "It's exotic but not too crazy, and we love the food," Laura wrote in her submission to us. "We can't wait to see Tokyo's Tsukiji Market." The vast, labyrinthine emporium—1,000-plus stalls!—requires major decoding, so we enlisted chef and food writer Yukari Sakamoto to lead the way. After they perused the stalls in the outer market—"I never knew wasabi was a root!" says Laura—Yukari snuck the couple into the wholesaler-only inner sanctum, where tuna vendors plied Mike and Laura with samples. She then guided them through a lunch of fatty tuna, sea urchin, and shirako at one of her favorite sushi counters, Sushi-Bun. "We didn't know what shirako was," says Mike. "It had a citrusy soy sauce and was soft and creamy. Yukari only revealed after we left that it was a cod sperm sac....Now when people compare the weirdest things they've ever eaten, I've got them beat!"
Many thanks to...
Guide service Bespoke Tokyo (bespoketokyo.jp) and food writer Yukari Sakamoto, who led this special urban safari. Yukari is the author of culinary guidebook Food Sake Tokyo, out next spring from The Little Bookroom.