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Tsukiji (築地) is a district of Chūō, Tokyo, Japan, the site of the Tsukiji fish market. Literally meaning "reclaimed land," it lies near the Sumida River on land reclaimed from Tokyo Bay in the 18th century, during the Edo period.

There are also districts named Tsukiji in Kobe and Amagasaki, cities in Hyōgo Prefecture, although neither is as well known as Tokyo's.


Tsukiji is built on reclaimed land out of what were once lowland marshes along the Sumida River delta. Throughout the Tokugawa period, earth from the shogunate's extensive moat and canal excavations was systematically used to fill in the marshes along the river, creating new commercial districts and waterfront housing.

The Great Fire of Meireki of 1657 destroyed over two-thirds of Edo's buildings, including Hongan-ji temple in Asakusa, the enormous Kantō headquarters of the Jōdo Shinshū sect. As a result, the temple site was relocated to Tsukiji, where many of the residents of nearby Tsukudajima were instrumental in its reconstruction. A number of other temples were also erected on what is now the outer marketplace. In addition, many private residences for samurai and feudal lords were constructed along the southern edge of Tsukiji.

In 1869, Tsukiji was designated as an approved residential area for foreigners. As the Yokohama foreign settlement was fast becoming a center for commercial activities and international trade, Tsukiji grew as a focus for education, healthcare and Christian mission work. Early classroom and study facilities for Keio University, Rikkyo University, St. Margaret's Junior College, the American School in Japan and St. Luke's International Hospital were all to be found in this district.

The Great Kantō earthquake on September 1, 1923, and the resultant fires which raged in its aftermath, caused severe damage throughout central Tokyo. A significant portion of the Tsukiji district burned to the ground, and the old Nihonbashi fish market was razed. In the citywide restructuring following the quake, the Nihonbashi fish market was relocated to the Tsukiji district, and after the construction of a modern market facility, reopened in 1935.

Places of interest[edit]

  • For many tourists in Tokyo, the Central Wholesale Market, better known as the Tsukiji fish market and said to be one of the best sushi destinations in the world, is synonymous with Tsukiji. It is also the largest fish market in the world handling more than 2000 tons of 450 types of seafood daily.[1]
  • Tsukiji Hongan-ji, a key temple of the Jōdo Shinshū sect of Buddhism.
  • Inside the temple is a small memorial to deceased popular rock star hide.
  • St. Luke's Garden Tower, one of Tokyo's tallest buildings, and the adjoining St. Luke's International Hospital
  • National Cancer Center

Companies based in Tsukiji[edit]

Asahi Shimbun headquarters in Tsukiji

Subway stations[edit]


  1. ^ Billie Cohen (January 2005). "Lox, Stock, and Barrel". National Geographic Magazine. 
  2. ^ "会社概要." Asahi Shimbun. Retrieved on February 26, 2010.
  3. ^ "Relation." Asatsu DK. Retrieved on November 9, 2009.
  4. ^ "会社概要." Nihon Ad Systems. Retrieved on February 26, 2010.
  • Tsukiji: The Fish Market at the Center of the World, Theodore C. Bestor, University of California Press, Berkeley, 2004 (ISBN 0-520-22024-2)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°40′05″N 139°46′26″E / 35.66819°N 139.77390°E / 35.66819; 139.77390