Can Toyosu Fish Market Really Replace Tsukiji Fish Market?

Can Toyosu Fish Market Really Replace Tsukiji Fish Market?

Truly, I despaired at the news confirming Tsukiji’s Wholesale Fish Market inner market’s imminent move to the Toyosu area.

I was glad I made the trip in May 2018 to enjoy Tsukiji’s inner market for the last time before the actual relocation in October 2018.

After my recent trip to Toyosu Fish Market, I could only mourn at the loss of Tsukiji’s culture and history.

Cleaner and safer than Tsukiji… But most of the charm is now lost…

Though the spanking new Toyosu Fish Market is a lot safer and cleaner, the original charm, sights, smell and sounds have all been lost.

In Tsukiji, I would have to remind myself and my travel companions to lookout for turret trucks shooting out of apparent nowhere.

Forklifts and turret trucks zipping around
Tsukiji Visit in 2014: Visitors would have to look out for forklifts and turrent trucks zipping around

I remember them zipping between lanes and shouting at people to get out of the way.

The wind would bring the smell fresh an dried seafood, depending on which direction it was blowing.

All that has now been lost…

Transformation into a viewing gallery and commercial food centre

Along the walkways you will find interesting and informative exhibits detailing Tsukiji’s history and fish facts.

Public access to the wholesale area is no longer possible…

View of market activities are to restricted to small windows sparsely located along walkways.

There’s a retail area for you to buy limited fresh seafood, dried goods, knives and kitchenware, but that’s the closest you ever get.

Toyosu Market Dried Retail Area
Dried goods and kitchenware for sale at the Toyosu Market retail area

Restaurants, one of the main reasons people visited Tsukiji, are now located in an indoor food square that resembles food courts.

Toyosu Market Restaurant Area
Restaurants are now consolidated into food court-like areas

The popular restaurants like 寿司大 (Sushi Dai) and 寿司大和 (Sushi Daiwa) have all relocated here as well.

The queues at most of the restaurants are still long, so be early if you have a favorite restaurant.

:'( My usual haunt was not accepting anymore customers upon arrival

Arriving at around 10 AM some of the sushi shops were already sold out!

Lucky for me, I still managed to get my sushi fix over at 晶 (Shou) and they too served quality and fresh sushi.

Restricted access to Toyosu wholesale area

The Tsukiji inner market was where visitors were free to explore at 9am where most of the activities begin to wind down.

I remember navigating through the market lanes within the market allowing me glimpses into the inner workings of the world’s busiest fish market.

  • Tsukiji Inner Market
  • Tsukiji Inner Market
  • Tsukiji Inner Market

Part of the Tsukiji experience included witnessing frozen Bluefin tunas being sawed, squirming eels, clams spitting, prawns jumping…

These experiences are now a thing of the past…

Sadly, I do not foresee that we will ever be able to enjoy the immersive experience since Toyosu fish market restricts access to the wholesale area.

Viewing Gallery at Toyosu Fish Market
Windows allow a restricted view of market activities

Will Toyosu herself ever be a charm?

Based on the design and layout of the market I doubt Toyosu would ever be as charming as Tsukiji.

I guess Toyosu will eventually be more well-known for being the go-to place for fresh sushi omakase and not the fish market itself.


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