Finally, the official relocation of Tsukiji’s much-loved fish market has been decided and will move to its new venue in Toyosu on October 11, as stated by Tokyo’s Governor Koike-san. Initially planned for late 2016, the move to the new site suffered multiple setbacks after it was discovered that the new arena in Toyosu was built on contaminated soil, which resulted in many scandals and complaints from local fishmongers.
Ms Yuriko Koike who won the popular vote in mid-July 2016, resigned from Abe’s cabinet and became Tokyo’s Mayor. Since coming into power, she made the highly controversial decision to put all relocation plans on hold until a thorough investigation and clean up of the site in Toyosu could be completed.
Currently, Tsukiji Fish Market, which has been in operation since the mid-1930s, is home to over 400 varieties of seafood and more than 200 kinds of fruits and vegetables which are traded every day. It is famous for its early trading, especially on tuna auctions, which are a famous spectacle for many visitors. The markets are also frequented by both locals and tourists alike, who seek the taste of freshly prepared and served sushi.
As the facilities gradually aged, many of the local shopkeepers, fish wholesalers and patrons raised concerns as to the durability of the facility, in the event of an earthquake, or because of the use of asbestos. This prompted the consideration and planning of a newer, larger and more sturdy venue to be built, and thus Toyosu became the new site.
The move in 2018 is expected to provide enough time for the preparation of the 2020 Olympics and the planned transport hub serving the new site. The new location in Toyosu will be surrounded by many other restaurants and shops, which is primed to act as a new popular hub for tourists and locals.