TOKYO (Reuters) – The world’s largest fish market resumed operations at a new location in Tokyo on Thursday, after final auctions last week at the previous facility in Tsukiji, one of the Japanese capital’s top tourist attractions.
The long-delayed opening of the gleaming new $5-billion Toyosu market on reclaimed land was marked by a minor truck fire and an early morning traffic jam.
As the new market’s first auction kicked off at 5:30 a.m. (2030 GMT), its halls filled with the sound of bells and the shouts of traders, who also used hand signals in the scramble to get the day’s best produce.
“It might take some time to get used to,” Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said at the site. “Together, we would like to develop this as the core market of Tokyo, and Japan, and make the Toyosu brand better day by day.”
The 83-year-old Tsukiji market had attracted tens of thousands of visitors each year to its warren of stalls laden with exotic species of fish and fresh sushi in a tourism boom key to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic plan.