Tsukiji fish market ends 83 years of business for relocation

Lloyd Doyle
October 8, 2018

Opened in 1935, Tsukiji was for many years known only to its vendors and the food industry, but it gained worldwide reknown in recent decades and its tuna auctions even hit the headlines, with one fish going for a record $1.8 million at the market's New Year's auction in 2013. "I'd like to express my gratitude to Tsukiji once again", said Hiroyasu Ito, chairman of Tsukiji Market Association which consists of leaders from main business groups in Tsukiji.

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. Safety concerns were cited as a key reason to push through the move to a new location.

In Tokyo closed the world's largest seafood market and fish "Tsukiji".

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

A procession of turret trucks and forklifts departed the just-closed Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo's Chuo Ward early on October 7 bound for their new home in the Toyosu district, 2 kilometers away.

Tours inside the Tsukiji market and the shops and restaurants in the outer market have attracted many visitors, but the Tokyo metropolitan government made a decision to relocate the aging facility due to concerns about sanitation, quake resistance and fire safety.

Tsukiji saw its last auction on Saturday, with a 162 kg tuna being sold as the most expensive fish of the day.

The new site will feature state-of-the-art refrigeration, while tourists will be confined to special galleries behind glass.

The so-called outer market - home to shops selling food and other goods - will remain after the move.

"I feel nostalgic as Tsukiji has been my home ground for 15 years".

Fishmongers will move from the ageing facility to a new, more modern site in Toyosu, about 2km (1.2 miles) away.

The final day of the market looked much like any other in the decades since it opened on the site.

But the warehouses that housed vendors and additional shops and restaurants are expected to be levelled to make way, initially, for a transport depot for the 2020 Olympic Games.

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.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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