Tsukiji Market, R.I.P. (goodbye to the curve)

There is no secret that Tsukiji Market ceased to be Tokyo’s fish market back in October 2018 when Toyosu Market opened its doors. However, emotionally I didn’t acknowledge Tsukiji’s closure until just now when I saw a photo on Twitter:

In the above picture, Tsukiji Market’s curved shape is instantly recognizable, with the Sumida River behind it. The relatively new Tsukiji Ohashi 築地大橋 bridge (it opened in 2018) crosses the river towards Kachidoki.

In case you’re not familiar with the curved shape of Tsukiji Market, here is an aerial photo, circa 1930. The shape is particularly noticeable in the stark contrast of a black & white photograph:

Here is a picture I took in 2013 from my office at dawn. Tsukiji’s curving shape is somewhat visible at the right of the picture.

And in this 2014 photo of Hamarikyu Gardens (at right), the familiar curve of Tsukiji is more clearly visible at the left. Back then there was no trace of the new Tsukiji Ohashi Bridge.

Lastly, here is a view of the old market in 2017. Although not yet opened, the new Tsukiji Bridge appears substantially complete.

In Tokyo, it’s foolish to spend too much time mourning old structures like this (or the old Hotel Okura), but I am glad to have the opportunity to formally say goodbye.

In parting, here is a woodblock print of Tsukiji Market from 1937, from Koizumi Kishio’s 小泉癸巳男 exceptional series, “100 Views of Great Tokyo in the Shōwa Era“.

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