Tokyo's world-famous Tsukiji fish market has closed after 83 years of trading. It shut permanently at noon on Saturday, bringing an end to its long history of trading in all kinds of fish. The market is being moved to a new site in the Toyosu area of Tokyo. The new market will start operating on Thursday. City planners in Tokyo made the decision to close the market at Tsukiji because they wanted to build a parking lot for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, which will take place in 2020. Market traders at Tsukiji were sad on Saturday as they finally shut up shop. One seafood auctioneer, Hisao Ishii, said: "I'm almost crying. Today is a sad day of goodbyes."
Tsukiji fish market was known as the "kitchen of Japan". Britain's Financial Times newspaper described how important the market was. It wrote: "Tsukiji is a symbol of the global food trade, the home of Japanese cuisine, and is one of Tokyo's most popular tourist attractions." It added that the atmosphere at Tsukiji showed, "an older Tokyo that is gradually disappearing in favor of glittering high-rise towers". Nearly 500 types of seafood were sold at the market. The most famous product sold there was bluefin tuna. One bluefin sold for a record $1.7million in 2013. Hiroyasu Ito, chairman of the Tsukiji Market Association, said: "Everyone was pouring their heart and soul into their trade until the very end".