One of Tokyo’s Most Famous Tourist Attractions Will Stop Admitting Visitors

Aug 21, 2018

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Japan’s Tsukiji fish market is closing its doors to tourists.

The crowded and fast-pasted seafood marketplace will be relocating on October 11 and will stop admitting tourists to its famous crack-of-dawn tuna actions beginning September 15, officials announced Tuesday. The 80-year-old market will be completely closed on October 6.

Known as one of tourists’ favorite attractions in the Japanese capital, Tsukiji’s iconic tuna auctions start at 5:30am and only admit 120 tourists a day. As a result of the limited admission, “some tourists start lining up at around 2:00am,” a spokesperson from the Tokyo government told Agence France-Presse.

TOPSHOT - President of sushi restaurant chain Sushi-Zanmai, Kiyoshi Kimura, displays a 190-kilogram bluefin tuna at his main restaurant near Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market on January 5, 2018. Tokyo's world-famous Tsukiji fish market held its last pre-dawn New Year's auction on January 5 before closing down for relocation, with the highest bidder paying more than 320,000 USD for a giant tuna. / AFP PHOTO / Kazuhiro NOGI (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
President of sushi restaurant chain Sushi-Zanmai, Kiyoshi Kimura, displays a 190-kilogram bluefin tuna at his main restaurant near Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market on January 5, 2018. (Photo by KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images).

In addition to the tuna auctions, the market is also known for its wide array of seafood displayed for customers to view. Tsukiji sells 480 different types of seafood from around the world and 270 types of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. The market does $14 million worth of business daily.

Visitors will be able to view the other seafood items and vegetables until September 29.

Year-end shoppers visit shops selling fresh and dried seafood outside Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo on December 28, 2017.People visited the shops to purchase food and supplies in preparation to celebrate New Year's Day, one of the biggest holidays in Japan. / AFP PHOTO / Toshifumi KITAMURA (Photo credit should read TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)
Year-end shoppers visit shops selling fresh and dried seafood outside Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo on December 28, 2017. (Photo by TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)

Fortunately, officials are planning an observation area for tourists at the market’s new location, in the eastern neighborhood of Toyosu in a building that was formerly a gas plant. “We plan to open a deck for visitors, and also there will be a special aisle for viewers where tourists will be able to watch the tuna auction through a glass wall,” a Tokyo spokesperson said.

Year-end shoppers visit shops selling fresh and dried seafood outside Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo on December 28, 2017.People visited the shops to purchase food and supplies in preparation to celebrate New Year's Day, one of the biggest holidays in Japan. / AFP PHOTO / Toshifumi KITAMURA (Photo credit should read TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)
(Photo by TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)

Opened in 1935, the market’s aging building is concerning to local officials who site worries over fire safety and other sanitation issues as the reasons for the move. Plans to move the fish market have been in the works since 2016, but several logistical setbacks have occurred since then, delaying the project.

Tsukiji is currently the largest fish market in the world.

Featured image by TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images.

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