The Tsukiji Market (Tsukiji shijō), supervised by the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market (Tōkyō-to Chūō Oroshiuri Shijō) of the Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Industrial and Labor Affairs, is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world and also one of the largest wholesale food markets of any kind.
The market is located in Tsukiji in central Tokyo, between the Sumida River and the upmarket Ginza shopping district. While the inner wholesale market has restricted access to visitors, the outer retail market, restaurants, and associated restaurant supply stores remain a major tourist attraction for both domestic and overseas visitors.
With an area of about 230,000 square meters, Tsukiji fish market is one of the largest fish markets in the world. Inside there are also many restaurants that serve the freshest fish sold, but the peculiarity of this place is the sale of tuna, which in Japan is so popular to the point that real auctions are held to win the most valuable pieces.
Tsukiji fish Market holds the world record for the most expensive tuna fish sold at auction (new year’s auction). The record was made official at a ceremony held near Tsukiji, where the tuna was sold for 155.4 million yen ($1.4 million).
About 60,000 people work in the market and there are about 900 small businesses that start the business at night: all this is a maze of “ways” traveled at full speed by the characteristic tarrets and animated by the sellers’ voices.
One is fascinated by the manual skill and the accuracy with which the fish is cut, prepared and wrapped. The final product resembles more a work of fine craftsmanship rather than a food, this sums up to perfection the attention to the almost maniacal details of the Japanese.
In the autumn of 2018 all this area will be converted to a residential area and the market, with its restaurants, will move to a modern structure and inevitably, in the name of progress, will lose some of its charm.
About the author:
Federico Bonifazi is an Italian photographer. He was born in Rome in 1981.