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Tsukiji (築地) is a district of Chūō, Tokyo, Japan. Literally meaning "reclaimed land", it lies near the Sumida River on land reclaimed from Tokyo Bay in the 18th century during the Edo period. The eponymous Tsukiji fish market opened in 1935 and closed in 2018 when its operations were moved to the new Toyosu Market.[1][2][3][4][5]

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


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 land was then named Tsukiji (築地), meaning "constructed land" or "reclaimed land".[6]

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.[7] 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, opened in 1859, had already become a center for commercial activities and international trade, Tsukiji grew more 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 United States legation occupied a site in Tsukiji from 1875 to 1890; it is now occupied by the St. Luke's Garden complex. The American legation had been moved from an old temple in Azabu, by Minister John Bingham, prominent Reconstruction era Ohio congressman and the longest serving American chief of mission to serve in Japan.

Tsukiji Naval Academy hot air balloon demonstration (1877) Hiroshige III

Tsukiji was also the location from 1869 of the Imperial Japanese Navy technical training facilities, renamed in 1876 as the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy. In 1888, the Naval Academy was relocated from Tsukiji to new, larger facilities at Etajima in Hiroshima Prefecture. The Tsukiji naval buildings next to the Akibashi bridge then became home, until 1923, of the Naval War College, a post-graduate staff college for senior naval officers.

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 residents and visitors to Tokyo, the Central Wholesale Market, better known as the Tsukiji fish market is synonymous with sushi, sashimi and seafood products of every kind. While the inner market moved in October 2018 to the new Toyosu Market, the many small neighbourhood restaurants, restaurant supply stores and retail operations in the outer market have remained and act as a major culinary tourist destination. Tsukiji was the largest fish market in the world handling more than 2000 tons of 450 types of seafood daily.[8]
  • 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.
  • The Sumida River, the Tsukiji riverbank has pedestrian access north of the Kachidoki Bridge.
  • Quieter backstreets of Tsukiji still feature some older properties and storefronts clad in copper tiles used in the early Showa Period as a means of weather-proofing and distinctive architectural decoration.[9]
  • St. Luke's Garden, one of Tokyo's taller buildings containing, offices, a hotel, residential and long-term care accommodation. Part of the St. Luke's International Hospital campus.


Companies based in Tsukiji[edit]

Asahi Shimbun headquarters in Tsukiji

Foreign companies with offices:

Subway stations[edit]


Rikkyo Junior High School was established in Tsujiki in 1896 but the building was destroyed by the Great Kanto earthquake, so a new building in Ikebukuro opened in 1923.[14]


  1. ^ Tomoko Kamata (9 October 2018). "Tsukiji Market Ends 83-year History". NHK. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  2. ^ Fumito Akiyama, Wataru Suzuki (6 October 2018). "Foodies bid farewell to Tokyo's famed Tsukiji fish market". The Nikkei. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  3. ^ "Tsukiji: Japan's famed fish market to relocate". BBC. 6 October 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  4. ^ Katie Lockhart (1 October 2018). "A Famed Tokyo Fish Market Is Relocating". New York Times.
  5. ^ Motoko Rich (6 October 2018). "As Tokyo Fish Market Closes, Sellers and Customers Honor an Era of Grime". New York Times.
  6. ^ "Welcome to Tsukiji". tsukiji.or.jp.
  7. ^ "The Genesis of Tsukiji", Tsukiji Sushi Workshop. Retrieved on 29 October 2014.
  8. ^ Billie Cohen (January 2005). "Lox, Stock, and Barrel". National Geographic Magazine.
  9. ^ Bestor, Theodore C. (2004). Tsukiji: The Fish Market at the Center of the World. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 62. ISBN 0-520-22024-2.
  10. ^ "会社概要." Asahi Shimbun. Retrieved on February 26, 2010.
  11. ^ "Company Profile." Mitsui E&S. Retrieved on May 28, 2018.
  12. ^ "会社概要." Nihon Ad Systems. Retrieved on February 26, 2010.
  13. ^ "Sales Offices Europe and Other Countries." Avianca. Retrieved on January 10, 2017. "602 City Square, Tsukiji 6-4-5 Chuo-Ku 104-0045, Tokio."
  14. ^ "History." Rikkyo Ikebukuro Junior and Senior High School. Retrieved on April 18, 2016. "立教池袋中学校・高等学校 〒171-0021 東京都豊島区西池袋5-16-5 "

External links[edit]

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