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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.
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.
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.
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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