Pre-dawn scenes played out like a parade for the Tsukiji fish market workers.

On Saturday, Tokyo’s iconic Tsukiji Fish Market, the largest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world, closed its doors after 83 years of business at its Tsukiji location.

It was a momentous moment that marked the end of an era for Japan’s capital city, and people descended on the area with cameras to record the events of the day. However, early the next morning, the Tsukiji market vendors were back at work, this time making the move to the new location at Toyosu in spectacular fashion, with a fleet of turret trucks spotted leaving Tsukiji at roughly 4 a.m.

These turret trucks have been part of the Tsukiji Market scene for decades, zipping through narrow aisles and thoroughfares around the expansive facility. On Sunday morning though, fishmongers drove the transport vehicles out of the market for the last time, making their way to a nearby bridge which had been closed to traffic for the move.

Hundreds of fishmongers made their way across the bridge in orderly fashion, on a 2.3-kilometre (1.4-mile) journey to the market’s new location at Toyosu.

It was a massive and well-organised operation, as turret trucks moved in several fleets, with each fleet taking approximately 10 minutes to make the journey over the bridge.

The pre-dawn move continued past sunrise, with turret trucks coming over the slope of the bridge across the Sumidagawa river and towards waiting photographers, who were eager to capture images of the drivers.

It became something of an impromptu parade for the heroes of the fish market, and while some tried their best to ignore the media, others lapped up their celebrity moment, giving out waves to the crowd.

The move was so impressive it appeared on televised news reports around the country.

In total, approximately 2,600 turret trucks and forklifts will make the move to Toyosu, and 5,300 two-tonne trucks will carry cargo and other equipment from the Tsukiji site to the newly built market facility.

▼ The new indoor market looks entirely different to the open-air layout at Tsukiji.

While the move has been marred by controversy and fears about the new facility, everyone in Tokyo is hoping that the market’s opening in less than two days will go smoothly for the fishmongers. About 900 intermediate wholesalers are scheduled to open for business at the Toyosu fish market on October 11, and to tourists on October 13 at 10 a.m.

Source: Matomedane
Featured image: Twitter/@tokyoshashinbu