Published: Tue, October 09, 2018
Economy | By

Last orders as Tokyo's Tsukiji market relocates

Last orders as Tokyo's Tsukiji market relocates

Japan's iconic Tsukiji fish market, considered the world's largest, closed its doors permanently on Saturday after 83 years ahead of its relocation next week. It became a sprawling, busy market, but was seen by many as rundown and overcrowded.

After Saturday's final day of operations, Tsukiji's inner market will move to Toyosu, a site in eastern Tokyo, where operations will begin on October 11.

Tsukiji, which is the largest fish market in the world, will now serve the objective of a temporary parking garage for the 2020 Summer Olympics, which will be held in Japan's capital, a report in the Al-Jazeera stated.

The move has been in the works for years, prompted by the dilapidated state of Tsukiji.

Wholesalers had raised concerns about the antiquated facility's natural disaster resistance, sanitation and fire safety, as well as the structure's use of asbestos and its crumbling walls.


But while the new site promises state-of-the-art refrigeration and will keep gawping tourists away from the business of the market in a gallery behind glass, the move has still left a bitter taste for some. Also daily, some 1,500 metric tons of sea products pass through its shops and wholesalers, making Tsukiji one of the highest-volume markets on Earth, while sales run at some 1.6 billion yen.

Its early morning tuna auctions, of which the last took place on Saturday, have also been a major draw for visitors from overseas. "We are sad to lose the Tsukiji brand", vegetable wholesaler Tsukasa Kujirai told AFP. While some shop owners have chose to relocate to the new site, others have chosen to close down.

The final day of the market looked much like any other in the decades since it opened on the site. The outer market shops and vendors sell everything from dried foods to kitchenware.

The current site of Tsukiji market, situated on reclaimed land in the heart of the capital, will be used to pool transport vehicles for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Beyond that, the site's future is more uncertain, though Koike has suggested it could be transformed into a kind of culinary theme park, commemorating the market's colourful history.

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