Former wholesale fish market’s plot has been idle since 2018.

In 2018, Tokyo’s aging Tsukiji Fish Market closed down and its wholesale operations relocated to the Toyosu district of the city. This wasn’t because Tsukiji was a bad location, however. If anything, the location was too good, as being in a developed, transportation-connected part of downtown meant there wasn’t space to build a new facility for the fish market to move directly into, and so the Toyosu site was constructed while the Tsukiji one was still in business.

That means that since the wholesale market left Tsukiji, there’s been a huge plot of unused land sitting at the edge of the neighborhood next to the Sumida River. The Tokyo metropolitan government has finally announced what’s going to be done with it: it’s going to serve as the site of a brand-new stadium, along with adjacent hotel, commercial, and office developments.

▼ Concept renderings of the new development for the old Tsukiji wholesale market site

11 different companies are currently involved in the project, including Mitsui Real Estate and the Yomiuri Newspaper group. The roughly 19-hectre (46.95-acre) plot sits adjacent to the Hama-rikyu Gardents.

▼ Currently a parking lot is pretty much all Google Maps shows for the site.

The developers are referring to the stadium as a “multi-stadium,” suitable for a variety of sporting, musical, and other entertainment events and expositions, with a capacity of roughly 50,000 visitors, roughly on par with Tokyo Dome, which opened 36 years ago, and much larger than the approximately 14,500-seat Budokan (though still smaller than the Japan National Stadium built for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021). The involvement of Yomiuri has some speculating that the Giants, the professional baseball team owned by the publisher that currently plays its home games at Tokyo Dome, will be associated but the team has made no public statement to that effect at this time.

Despite the Tsukiji wholesale market closing, the neighborhood continues to be a major leisure and tourism destination. Tsukiji’s “outer market,” the dense collection of restaurants and seafood shops on the streets in front of the wholesale facility, have remained in business, and those were the always the primary attraction for non-restaurant industry visitors in the first place. Especially with the Toyosu market having gained a reputation as a place catering to particularly deep-pocketed foreign tourists, Tsukiji has remained a vibrant part of the city, so building on that energy with a stadium and hotel isn’t a bad bet.

The first sections of the development are projected to open in 2029, with most of the place up and running by 2032.

Source: Yomiuri Shimbun, NHK News Web
Top image: Wikipedia/Kakidai
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