Tokyo fears losing a part of its soul as world’s biggest fish market moves

The thousands of wholesalers who keep Tsukiji fish market running day and night have been at work for several hours when it starts filling up with weekend shoppers and tourists eager to sample the ultimate Tokyo culinary experience – a sushi breakfast. Long lines form outside restaurants as traders whizz past on small trucks laden with boxes of every type of seafood imaginable: huge slabs of tuna, hunks of whale bacon, octopuses, scallops and sea squirts. If it lives in the sea and is edible, there is every chance it can be found among the hundreds of stalls at the world’s biggest fish market and the sprawling nerve centre of a multimillion-dollar commercial operation. The shouts of shopkeepers beckoning customers mingle with tourist chatter in a host of languages. Soon, though, much of the market will fall silent. In October the core of its business – the hundreds of wholesalers that provide seafood, meat, fruit and veg to restaurants and shops across Japan – will move two kilometres east to new waterfront premises in Tokyo’s Toyosu district. The many shops and restaurants crammed into the maze of narrow streets on the market’s periphery will remain, but its commercial heart –… Read full this story

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