Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu! – Happy New Year 2016! I am eager to see what the Japanese food scene will look like in the new year and what new discoveries await! To start I would like to inform you of major news from Tokyo as well as a potential change for sushi masters in NYC. I will use my first blog entry of 2016 to talk about the Tsukiji Fish Market relocation later this year.
With the relocation, you most likely will not hear the name “Tsukiji” any more. The Tsukiji Fish Market opened in 1935 and has become one of Tokyo’s most popular spots for tourists to observe tuna auctions early each morning. In all, about ¥1.8 billion (or approximately $15.4 million) worth of fish, seafood and vegetables change hands each day at the market.
The Market has outgrown its current location and vast improvements to modernize the site would have been extremely costly while still having the limits of a relatively small location. From a tourist perspective, Toyosu is across the Sumida River in a location that is not walkable from Ginza, and hence much less accessible. But relocating the market to a modern facility will provide an approximate 40% larger space with state-of-the-art refrigeration. This is a huge benefit as it will allow the Tsukiji quality to remain as it is today while taking advantage of the latest technology — so we all can eat the freshest seafood! And the workers will be able to remain focused on dealing with the fish rather than dodging curious camera-wielding tourists looking for the perfect photo opportunity. While the current location simply could not sustain the demand as popularity has grown over the years, it has an old-time atmosphere that I hope will not be forgotten as the new Toyosu location creates its own history.