When? Why is TSUKIJI Fish Market Going to Move to TOYOSU?





Tsukiji Fish Market is located in Chuo ward, Tokyo and it offers fresh fish, seafood, flowers and vegetables. Among 11 Fish Market in Tokyo, Tsujiki is the oldest and biggest in terms of number of sales and volume.


I’m going to review why Tsukiji Fish Market needs to move and what is going to happen after moving.



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Reasons for Relocation

Tsukiji Fish Market officially opened in 1935 in Tsukiji and it’s been there over 80 years.

Eighty years. That’s long. There are three main reasons why Tsukiji Fish Market needs to be relocated in Toyosu.


Relocation is for an Inner Market ONLY. An Outer Market will be staying in Tsukiji and serve their food and products to consumers.


Reason 1: Facility is Old and Dangerous

As I mentioned above, Tsukiji Fish Market has been distributing products over 80 years. The buildings are getting old and weak.

City is afraid that something might fall off and injure people who work and visit Tsukiji Market. This is one of the main reasons why they want to move to another location. They need newer place with new buildings.


Reason 2: Bigger Space is Needed

When Tsukiji was built at the beginning, it was built to accept products by trains.

However, the number of trucks and cars has been increasing the past few decades.


Thus the space for trucks are insufficient and drivers unload the products pretty much everywhere. It causes traffic and accident in the Market.

Because they cannot expand the parking space, Tsukiji Market needs to move. Toyosu has bigger space and is designated for trucks and cars.



Reason 3: Cleaner Space is Needed

Building of Tsukiji Fish Market is old and fragile. So is sanitary environment.

City is concerned about sanitary condition in Tsukiji and requires to move to newer and cleaner space.


Toyosu Market needs to get enough fridge, freezer and tanks to preserve fresh products. It’s not easy for business owners as they have to invest for the new equipment.


Reason 4: Highway is Needed

The last reason is that Tokyo is trying to build highway around Tsukiji area.

This would be used for 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and government is trying to build it as soon as the market becomes vacant.



When will Tsukiji Market be Relocating to Toyosu?


The top orange one is where Tsukiji Market is now (23ha) and it will be relocated to Toyosu Market, where says 40ha. It’s only 2.3 km away.



Now we now that Tsukiji needs to move to somewhere bigger and clean. When is it going to move to Toyosu?

Business owners in Tsukiji were preparing to move and start business in November, 2016 because of the initial proposal.

The government, however, postponed the plan. They insist that they need to examine again to make sure if it’s safe and clean to use for fish market.


The concern arises because this Toyosu area was previously used by Gas Company. Moreover, there is landfill nearby and people are anxious about safety and health issues.




What is going to Happen to Tsukiji Market after Moving?



An Outer Market remains as is so don’t worry if you have favorite sushi restaurants or stores in the Outer Market.

In fact, Chuo ward opend Tsukiji Uogashi (築地魚河岸) on November 19th and added 60 stores to promote Tsukiji Fish Market.


An Inner Market, however, will be moving to Toyosu. For instance, the famous Tuna Auction will be gone and you can probably see it in Toyosu Market.




Concerns and Problems with New Toyosu Location

High Rent with Smaller Space

One of the concerns business owners face is that rent is high yet space is smaller than Tsukiji Market.

They argue that total are in Toyosu is bigger than Tsukiji but each store is smaller. It makes them difficult to cut Tuna and other big fish.

They also claim that it’s inconvenient to use sink due to size and design of the store. They complain that whoever designed the store made a mistake.


No One to Run the Business

Another problem is that the wholesalers don’t have someone who takes care of their business: a lack of successors.

Most of the business owners at Tsukiji are not young yet many of them don’t even have any successors.

Buying proper fish and seafood is not easy. It requires certain experience and knowledge and takes time. Consequently, raising proper successors is difficult.




The proposal of moving Tsukiji has been discussed over years but it was not ready to be accomplished. Tokyo initially stated the move of Tsukiji Fish Market back in 2004.


According to the proposal, Tsukiji Fish Market was supposed to move in November 2016 but it’s postponed.

There are problems with Toyosu location and City concludes that it’s not ready to move yet.


They are aiming to move sometimes in winter 2017, but I’m not sure what is going to happen.

Business owners at Tsukiji are frustrated and confused as they have been preparing for relocation the past year.

Some of them don’t have enough money to move, and some old stores are not willing to move to Toyosu.



Japanese don’t swear? → Are There Any Curse Words in Japanese?

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