Tokyo, July 30 (IANS/EFE) Tokyo’s Tsukiji market, the world’s largest fish market and one of the greatest tourist attractions in the Japanese capital, will move to a new address in November next year.
Japan Today reported on its website on Thursday that the market, which opened in 1935 in the central neighbourhood of Ginza, will briefly close on November 2 next year, to reopen five days later at its new location in Toyosu, an artificial island in Tokyo Bay, according to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
The new market will be spread over 40 hectares, 40 percent more than its current size.
The relocation of the market, known for its spectacular early morning auctions of giant tuna, which have sold at a record-breaking price of $1.4 million, was initially scheduled for 2012.
However, Tokyo’s primary provider of natural gas, Tokyo Gas, intervened saying the site was highly toxic since in the past it housed one of its gas plants, prompting the move to be postponed so that the site could be cleaned up.
Cleaning the site cost the Tokyo government over 50 billion yen (over $402 million).
Currently, the daily buying and selling of fish and vegetables in Tsukijo comes to around 1.8 billion yen ($14.5 million), less than what is expected in the new Toyosu market.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government also announced its plans of constructing a huge tourist complex at the new site of the historic fish market on the occasion of 2020 Olympic Games, which will include an area for restaurants, seafood shops and open air thermal baths.