Japan Modern Culture: The New Tsukiji Fish Market opens and is called Toyosu Market


photo credit: nika-88 on flickrkaripkarip on flickr

All the fans of Japan have heard of the Tsukiji Fish Market at least once. Tsukiji’s wholesale fish market (in Japanese 築地市場, Tsukiji shijō) was the largest fish market in the world. It was in Tokyo, in the Tsukiji district, and it moved to the Toyosu area last October.

Visited every year by thousands of tourists, today’s Toyosu (Tsukiji) Fish Market hosts a number of workers ranging from 60,000 to 65,000, including accredited sellers, administrative staff and workers.
The Tsukiji Fish Market was, and still is, a showcase on an important element of Japanese gastronomic culture and the nation’s economy. Considered a national institution, from October it finally established its roots in Toyosu’s new space, retiring after 80 years from the space in the Tsukiji district. The Tokyo fish market continues to maintain its record as the largest wholesale fish market in the world.

Tsukiji Fish Market has always been one of the symbols of the iconic relationship between Japanese cuisine and the ocean. It is not rare to find international chefs and restaurateurs from across the city walking among the auctions every morning and being bewitched by the atmosphere of this place.


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The history of the Tsukiji is equally impressive. Over 500 species of fish sold daily, including some really expensive sushi cuts, 700 thousand tons of product sold each year, more than 12 million euros in daily turnover.

Already replacing the previous market in the Nihonbashi area destroyed by the Great Kanto earthquake in 1923, the Tzukiji fish market opened its doors in 1935. With its hundreds of stalls, the market is famous for selling fish that varies from scampi to whale, but especially for the daily auction of bluefin tuna, sold for thousands of dollars each. A tradition that also continues in Toyosu’s new market is also that of the New Year’s auction where restaurateurs compete against each other to pay the highest price for the first tuna on January 1st each year.


photo credit: jpellgen on flickrthisisinsider.com

The market opens at 5 am and is also very popular with tourists. If you want to take advantage of your jet lag, be sure to get in line to be selected in the small group of visitors who are allowed to watch the tuna auction.
The tuna appear in various sizes and, during the auction, they are placed on the ground, in order, still frozen. Each cut is provided with a tag that indicates its weight, quality and provenance, and comes without head and tails so as to be able to view the color of the meat.

At the end of the auction, all visitors can put themselves in even longer queues to see those in charge of cutting and preparing ready-to-use tuna slices. It is here that you can see and taste the classic sushi cut and the best sashimi you can eat.


photo credit: thisisinsider.com & jpellgen on flickr

Where is the Toyosu Fish Market now?

IThe New Tsukiji Fish market, now renamed Toyosu Fish Market, is located near Shijomae Station on the Yurikamome Line, in Tokyo’s Koto district, about 2 km east of Tsukiji. It is housed in 3 interconnected buildings (two for the sale of fish and one for the sale of fruit and vegetables). The buildings are connected directly to the station with a covered overpass, making it perfect for any climate. Toyosu is almost twice the size of the old Tsukiji market, about 40.7ha which allows it to maintain its status as the world’s largest fish market.


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Admission to the Toyosu Fish Market

Entry to the Toyosu Fish Market is free and you can watch auctions from dedicated platforms. You just need a visitor pass to enter the buildings and you can also taste all the delicious dishes in the restaurants, most of which was transplanted by the old Tsukiji.
There is not much else around there, but if you want to stay in the area, you can go explore the nearby Odaiba. Furthermore, it is said that in 2022 the Senkyaku Banrai will be opened, a street dedicated to shopping, a major part of a project to make the community more livable and lively.

photo credit: falloutxthisisinsider.com