Replacement for aging Tsukiji fish market officially opens

Toyosu Fish Market

This picture taken on Feb 13, 2018 shows trading floors partitioned by an automatic door at the new Toyosu fish market in Tokyo. Source: AFP PHOTO/Kazuhiro NOGI.

LAST MONTH, Tsukiji fish market announced it would stop admitting tourists to watch its pre-dawn tuna auctions starting Sept 15, 2018.

This is to facilitate its upcoming move east to Toyosu, the site of a former gas plant, on Oct 11, 2018.

The move was originally scheduled for November 2016 in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but several delays set back the timeline, including the discovery of soil contamination at Toyosu.

In June 2017, plans to move were restarted but the move was again delayed to autumn of 2018.

But it has finally happened.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike (C) and other officials cut the ribbon during the opening ceremony of Tokyo’s Toyosu fish market in Tokyo on Sep 13, 2018, which will officially open next month. Source: AFP PHOTO/Behrouz MEHRI.

Last week, Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike led the opening ceremony for the new fish market. During the ceremony, she assuaged concern about the soil contamination at the site.

“Safety has been ensured,” JapanToday quoted her as saying. “Steps have been taken.”

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by hundreds of government and fisheries industry officials although the sprawling waterfront facility won’t be open for business until Oct 11, 2018.

Koike told the crowd that Toyosu, which is almost twice the size of Tsukiji at 407,000 square meters, would carry on the “Tsukiji brand,” which represents a food culture loved around the world.

Toyosu Market

Aerial view of the new Toyosu Fish Market. Source: Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market

Considered a must-see for the curious traveler in Tokyo, the exciting auctions at Tsukiji fish market see over a hundred tourists visiting on the daily, with some tourists lining up as early as 2am.

Tsukiji is also highly popular for its array of restaurants and shops selling anything from the freshest seafood to household items like Japanese knives.

The market handles hundreds of kinds of seafood worth US$14 million daily, with is pre-dawn tuna auctions sold to everyone from top Michelin-star sushi chefs to ordinary grocery stores.

Japan hopes the new Toyosu market will also become a tourist attraction.

The new Toyosu Fish Market is located near Shijomae Station on the Yurikamome Line in Tokyo’s Koto Ward, about two kilometers east of Tsukiji’s current location.

According to Tokyo Cheapo, the complex will include more tourist-oriented stuff in the future such as a hotel, hot spring, and in 2022, a shopping street called Senkyaku Banrai.

The Tsukiji fish market will officially close on Oct 6, 2018. Its land area will be transformed into a transport hub during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.