Japan’s iconic Tsukiji fish market, considered the world’s largest, will down shutters for the first time in 83 years on Saturday to allow 20,000 workers to prepare for the final closure on October 6.
The vendors on Friday continued with their final preparations for the impending move to the nearby artificial island of Toyosu, where it will reopen five days later in an upgraded space with modern facilities, reports Efe news.
The shift to Toyosu, located around 3.4 km from Tsukiji, is aimed at modernizing the facilities and addressing safety concerns that had cropped up after a blaze had burned around 2,153 sq ft of Jogai, Tsukiji’s outer market, a little over a year ago.
The origin of the market dates back to 1657 when the Tokugawa Shogunate set up a fish market near Sumida River on land reclaimed from Tokyo Bay and called it Tsukiji, which literally means “reclaimed land”.
The market was officially renamed Tsukiji fish market in 1884 but was destroyed, along with most of Tokyo, in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and shifted to its current location in 1935.
The new Toyosu market will begin operating on October 11 and face the challenge of attracting visitors and traders to become, as Tsukiji was, a mecca of Japanese seafood.