The Tsukiji Fish Market, the Last Days of a Cultural Landmark

The Tsukiji (築地市場 Tsukiji shijō) fish market has been located in the Chuo district of Tokyo city since 1923. It is the largest fish market in the world and one of the largest markets across all commodities. Given the price of land in such a central area of ​​Tokyo and the fact that the 2020 Summer Olympics will require the construction of additional infrastructure , the market will eventually be moved to nearby Toyosu. While the initial date of the move was September 7th, 2016, it has recently been pushed back due to cost and health concerns. Event though, the market will inevitably close eventually so I got up early one Saturday and went to shoot some videos of the site before the Tsukiji market goes to posterity.

It is not less than 450 different species of fish and seafood that are sold every day Tsukiji, for an overall activity over a year of around 700 000 tons. About 60 000 people work on the site, which is open every day except Sundays and holidays.

Tuna Auction

Tuna auction

Visits are welcome freely all year round but if you want to attend the tuna auction, you will have to register at the first floor of the Information Center (Kachidoki entrance) by 5:00 am. Only the first 120 visitors will be allowed in, and the unlucky others will have to try their luck another day. The intermediate areas are accessible without restriction from 8:00 am. There is no dedicated tourist route and it should be noted that because of the frenetic activity and the pervasiveness of motor vehicles, visitors should be very careful. Wearing good shoes is recommended, as well as warm clothing in winter.

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Guillaume Erard
Author: Guillaume Erard
A resident of Japan for nearly a decade, Guillaume Erard trains at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo, where he received the 5th Dan from Aikido Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba. He also holds a 3rd Dan in Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu, the secretive art that Morihei Ueshiba learned from Sokaku Takeda. Erard is the Information Director of the International Aikido Federation and the Deputy Secretary of International Affairs of the Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu Shikoku Headquarters. He is also passionate about science and education and holds a PhD in Molecular Biology.
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