The outer shopping area adjacent to Tokyo’s famed Tsukiji fish market is asking the public to give it a new name as the wholesale fish market run by the metropolitan government will move to a nearby waterfront area in October.
Through Friday, representatives of the shopping area Tsukiji Jogai Shijo (outer market) are asking people to submit a new name by postcard, fax or online, or choose among the options of “Tsukiji Uogashi-Sotogashi” (fish market-outer market), “Tsukiji Shoku no Machi Shotengai” (food town shopping area) or keeping the current name.
Unlike the Tsukiji fish market itself, which targets trade buyers, the outer mall — comprised of some 500 shops and restaurants — allows ordinary people to make purchases and has been attracting many foreign visitors in recent years.
The result of the vote will be announced in late September, before the Tsukiji fish market reopens at the nearby Toyosu area on Oct. 11. A whole bluefin tuna, shopping coupons and other prizes will be allocated via a lottery to voters who backed the winning option, according to a nonprofit group organizing the event.
The relocation of the Tsukiji fish market, one of 11 central wholesale markets run by the Tokyo metropolitan government, has created a widespread misunderstanding that the adjacent shopping area will also move.
“We want to publicize that the outer mall will not relocate and will continue to operate business as usual,” said an official in charge of the campaign.
Having operated since 1935 the Tsukiji fish market’s facilities have become obsolete, forcing the metropolitan government to relocate to the Toyosu district.
The new Toyosu market was initially scheduled to open in 2016 but Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike pushed back the plan amid concerns about soil and water contamination at the site, which was previously used by a gas production plant.
The old Tsukiji fish market site will be transformed into a transport hub for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.