If you haven't heard by now, the famous Tsukiji Fish market is moving to Toyosu. Here's a timeline of frequently updated events including some of the sticky politics that are hindering the move.
June 12th, 2018: 717 Sushi Shops Oppose move to Toyosu
TOKYO (Akahata Shimbun) - The newspaper of the Communist Party of Japan reports that the influential Tokyo To Sushi Sho Seikatsu Eisei Dokyo Kumiai, which represents 717 Tokyo sushi shops who buy their fish from Tsukiji Fish market are still in strong opposition to the October 11th, 2018 relocation to Toyosu New Fish Market. The group's leader Mr Tadashi Yamagata cited concerns over the new site's history of alleged soil contamination, drainage problems, and potential hazards caused by the 'hairpin turns' to be negotiated by the market's electric 'turret' delivery trucks. It was revealed his organization has been voicing concerns to Tokyo Governor Koike and the head of the Tsukiji Market Traders association for at least two years.
May 25th, 2018: Opening Time Shifted to 11am
TOKYO (Tokyo Time Out) - announces: "The popular Tsukiji fish market, in its current incarnation, still has a couple of months left until it packs up and moves to Toyosu on October 11, 2018. Along with a general rise in tourist numbers, the drawn-out saga of the fish market's relocation... seems to have spurred visitor numbers to new heights. As such, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has decided to push back the time that non-buyers/visitors can enter the inner market from 10am to 11am effective June 15, 2018, the Asahi Shimbun reported".
May 17th, 2018: Wholesalers Practice with 'Turret ' trucks at Toyosu
TOKYO (THE MAINICHI) - reports "Seafood wholesalers and other operators held a training session at the new Toyosu wholesale market in the capital's Koto Ward on May 16, in a bid to ensure smooth sailing for the market's October opening as a relocation site for the historic Tsukiji fish market... About 2,200 marine product wholesalers, intermediate wholesalers, and authorized buyers and other traders of market-related goods participated on May 16. The previous session took place this January.
The workers practiced how to transport the marine products in and out of the facility on small forklift "turret trucks" that are used in Tsukiji. The trucks were driven through the Toyosu market's access tunnel, and it was confirmed whether or not the trucks could pass each other smoothly in the narrow lanes between the stores on the market floor. The exercise marked the first time the trucks had been used at the Toyosu site".
February 14th, 2018: Fall Move To Toyosu Market Definitely On
TOKYO (AFP) reports the following - "After years of delays, the process of moving Tokyo's world-famous Tsukiji fish market is on track, the city's governor said on Tuesday (Feb 13), pledging the site's spirit would not be lost".
The grey utilitarian complex at Toyosu is a far cry from the gritty, lively alleys of Tsukiji, where serious buyers and awestruck tourists browse for everything from record-setting tuna to root vegetables. But governor Yuriko Koike said the decades of experience of Tsukiji's vendors would not be lost in the move, slated to finally happen on Oct 11.
Planning to visit the market? Check out our recommendations for where to get the finest, best value sushi in Tsukiji, the best coffee shops and a fabulous 100 year-old tofu shop. And here's Jennifer Higa's first-hand account.
Please note that the Tsukiji External Retail Market (筑地場外 Jogai) is not going anywhere, and there remains plenty for the tourist to see and do in Tsukiji. Only the professional wholesale concessions, the Tsukiji Wholesale Market (筑地場内 Jonai) is relocating to the new site at Toyosu.
Links to news articles here:
Tokyo Time Out: Tsukiji Opening Hours Change
Mainichi: Trucks trialed at Toyosu
AFP/Straits Times: Market Move on Track
Akahata Shimbun: 717 Sushi Shops oppose move to Toyosu (in Japanese)
Looking for some fun experiences to have in the Tsukiji area? Why don't you try a cooking class - including certified tofu-making courses - from Tsukiji Cooking. Learn more.