I am not sure who to blame, after all it is all based on the growing demand for land use, and the priorities of the city who control the ultimate benefit of the fish market’s lands. I am told the old market will be taken down and paved for the olympic buses to have suitable parking.
I did have a chance to enter into the fish market to buy some Japanese crab, but on a professional basis only. Seriously what a change from Tsukiji and I am afraid to say I wouldn’t likely go again unless I am buying specific fish products.
Toyosu is a small disaster, a man-made island in Tokyo close to Odaiba, and the new fish market that lacks soul – it has none. I good analogy would be, it feels like the original painting by Mona Lisa was replaced by a poster, and I am not kidding. It is an odd place, an indoor market, bright and paved with concrete perfection as you would expect. The only good thing is the peroducts are still highest quality found in any market and it is miles ahead of the New York market, which I recently viewed.
The new market seems more like a new Police station with good body management, as you pass security who checks tourists do not get into places where they are unwanted.
it has been designed to accommodate the hustle of the market with narrow passages and widened road networks for the zipping carts carrying fish.
And it is now clear there is no smoking inside the air controlled building. What I did find odd was it smelled fishy and I was surprised, yet it made sense now that it is all inside a building and is no longer a market. Access is carefully controlled and they charm is almost all gone. I did notice after talking with some friends who frequented the market over the past 30+ years, they all shrug their shoulders when I asked about Toyosu, and seemed to accept the markets’ fate.
But it seems to be more designed to keep tourists away from the selling action. It is true many tourists and especially Chinese were meandering around in the market and interfering with the workers. Yes Americans as well, tourists taking the sharpest of cutting blades and lifting them to have a photo taken: https://mesubim.com/2016/05/15/sawed-tuna-heaven-video/
And it is all focused on work flow and there is still enough gore for blood lovers.
Numerous vendors retired before the move and others continued knowing full well the added costs of rent are passed along to consumers. The market was ill conceibved and has been involved in plenty of land contamination, all delayed the opening and I can’t help to think about how it was all shoved under the table.
The reason why the Tsukiji Fish Market was moved to Toyosu was because it was becoming too old and overcrowded. The buildings have stood there since 80 years ago and the Tokyo Municipal Government wished to move it to a new, cleaner, more tourist friendly building. It was originally supposed to have moved in November of 2016, but the newly elected governor put it on hold due to contamination of the ground the new building was built on. Safety measures were carried out and the governor declared it safe to move into in 2018, but who knows what finally happened.
The Tsukiji Fish Market was a famous fish market in Tokyo and it had a history of 80 years. The land that the market stood on was reclaimed land, built by the Shogunate in the Edo era. And the name “Tsukiji” literally meant constructed land. It was a quiet residential area for families of the samurai. But with the fish market built, it soon became a busy commercial area. The immense value of a 23-hectare (57-acre) Tsukiji site was one of the largest wholesale fish and seafood markets in the world was just too valuable to let continue.
The new Toyosu Market has just opened on October 11, 2018. The opening hours are from 5 am to 5 pm. And the market is closed on Sundays, holidays, and the days decided by the market, so make sure it’s open before you go. The opening hours of the respective restaurants are all different. Some open at 5h00 or 6h00 am and close after lunchtime, and others open around 10 am and close at night. The restaurants are very crowded, especially the ones serving fresh sushi, so if you want to eat at one of these restaurants, make sure you’re ready to go there very early and wait in line.
At this new market, there are three different buildings: the Fresh Produce Building, the Wholesale Seafood Building, and the Retail Seafood Building. At the Retail Seafood Building, you can buy fresh seafood as well as eat at the restaurants. This is the building that is probably the most crowded. At the Fresh Produce Building and the Wholesale Seafood Building, there is a window lined aisle on the upper floor from where people can observe the action going on inside.
There will be a separate observation deck opened for observing the tuna fish auctions, but this will not be open until January 15, 2019. There is a lawn on the roof of the building so you can enjoy the view of the bay area.
After all, the idea was to recover the Tsukiji lands and re-sell it, create a safer more efficient environment for the trade, and re-structure the entire business to optimize on profits to the city, and manage the growing need by vendors to keep away all tourists from the business activities. In fact, the greatest challenges was the management of visitors to the market and finally the problems of tourists interfering became too much of a burden.
Several windows along corridors now allow visitors to watch down onto the action of the tuna auctions. The windows are double-glazed and keep the observation area mild around the year. However, they also block off all the market sounds and make it a little challenging to take photos without reflections.
A few windows also look into the auction hall where seafood other than tuna is auctioned. While the floor in the tuna auction hall is colored green to provide an ideal contrast for buyers to inspect the tuna, the floor in the seafood auction hall is kept grey.
There is the tuna Auction observation platform on a lower floor is separated from the auction action by glass, exposed to the noise and temperature of the auction hall, advance reservation will be required for access during the tuna auctions.
Three groups of 40 people each will be able to view the auctions for 10 minutes each between 5:45 and 6:15. Applications for dates for a given month can be submitted during a selected time period in the previous month. Participants will be decided by lottery and informed a few days after the submission deadline.
For those searching a Japanese knife or souvenir the Uogashi Yokocho Market is a shopping area open to the general public. This is a small mall with 70 shops sell non-perishable goods and processed foods in retail portions, including knives, souvenirs.
A serious change in fish market culture it is all over for those who know the old market – sad yet true. 😩😡🤯😡😱