Japan’s famed fish market to relocate

French chef Lionel Beccat says it took him several years to build up relationships with Tsukiji's fishmongersMore

French chef Lionel Beccat says it took him several years to build up relationships with Tsukiji's fishmongersMore

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.

The market's new home on the artificial island of Toyosu in Tokyo Bay will be nearly twice the size of the former site.

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

In total, about 2,600 turret trucks and forklifts are expected to move to the Toyosu market.

This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies.

At Tsukiji's last New Year's sale, one buyer put down $320,000, still far short of the record $1.8 million paid for a bluefin in 2013.

This series introduces scenes from the last days of the Tsukiji market in Tokyo's Chuo Ward, which is scheduled to end 83 years of history when it closes for relocation to the new Toyosu site in the capital's Koto Ward on October 6, 2018. The New Year auction often fetched higher prices than normal, because the event was considered auspicious for business. At the end of September the market closed for tourists, and now there was the last auction to wholesalers.

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

Eventually, the contaminated areas were cleaned using underground wells and the location was declared safe by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike in July this year, opening the doors to its official inauguration next Thursday.

A large quantity of goods and equipment must be transferred to the new facility.

The move affects not only the famed fishmongers, but also fruit and vegetable vendors, restaurants and other shops in the inner market.

He acknowledged the need for a move but said he was torn between "hopes and fears" about the new site.

Cars and small "turret trucks" used by vendors whizzed along the roads around the market, which was full of buyers.

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

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