Tokyobling's Blog

The Last Tsukiji Shishimatsuri – Entering the Fish Market

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on July 29, 2015

In June this year we saw the last ever Tsukiji Shishi Festival inside the legendary Tokyo main fish market at Tsukiji (apparently the biggest fish market in the world). The fish market, and its very own patron shrine, Suijinja, was established in 1590 when Lord Tokugawa Ieyasu based himself in the city of Edo and invited fishermen from Osaka to provide food for his castle and court. Originally it was located in the Nihonbashi area but moved to its present location in 1923 after the Great Kanto Earthquake. The fish market was built on newly reclaimed land and finished in 1935. The main Shishimatsuri has been held inside the Fish Market since then, but this was the final as it is moving to a spot near Toyosu, next to Odaiba.

Due to this being the last major festival in the beloved old fish market, the turn out was absolutely massive. Not least the number of men who carried the omikoshi. I had other things to think about than to get good photos; like avoiding being trampled by the crowds! I also got to see the absolutely tiny Suijinja which is the only shrine inside the actual market area. I am not sure but I heard that it is being moved to the new location together with the market.

The fish market itself is a huge wholesale market, where between 60 000 and 65 000 persons come to work every day, so it feels weird to be able to walk around in it like a normal festival. I can imagine it was very emotional for the old timers though!

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5 Responses

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  1. Mikku said, on July 30, 2015 at 4:57 am

    Excellent!

    Like

  2. aktcornelio said, on July 31, 2015 at 9:26 am

    How did you get that last shot? Looks awesome from the top angle. 🙂

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on August 3, 2015 at 12:34 am

      Thanks! I took it from the top of the stairs that you can see in the fourth photo, the little Suijinja. There were plenty of people up on the second floors around the main festival area but they were on private property so I could not join them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. rudyhou said, on November 2, 2015 at 7:55 am

    i don’t get a chance to visit the tsukiji fish market this year. looks like i have to settle with the new one the next time i visit tokyo.

    Like


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