For the many of us who have enjoyed past early morning visits through the fishy stench of the tuna auction at Tsukiji Market in Tokyo, we are saddened to see the Market’s final move to the new state-of-the-art Toyosu — 1.4 miles across the bay from Tsukiji. The move was authorized by the Tokyo city government in order to use the former site for Tokyo’s 2020 Summer Olympic facilities.
Fortunately, Tsukiji’s colorful “Outer Market” maze of 600 vendors (restaurants, dried goods, teas, and fun souvenirs) will stay behind at the present location. Unlike the Tsukiji Tuna Market, the Outer Market is privately owned. Visitors at the new Toyosu Market will be filtered through a designated standing room area that sits above the auction floor from behind glass — certainly, a more antiseptic way of viewing the tuna auction! The tuna auction will still begin at 4:30 a.m. daily.
In addition to the old Japanese buildings that still exist, there are 460 retailers, eateries, and shops selling bonito, kelp, tsukudani, and kitchen knives. There are nine omelet specialty stores indispensable as sushi restaurants and ten wholesalers of bonito. Visitors may also shop for dishes, bowls, and chopsticks. Each shop has its own personality and characteristics and in the fresh market, “Tsukiji Fish market”, where more than 60 wholesalers are gathered, fresh fish and fruits and vegetables can be purchased.
Toyosu maintains Tsujiki’s original market structure: the main wholesalers are in one building, while the intermediate wholesalers are located just next door. Each specialist is designated to their own electric cart to funnel produce from one building to the next!