Last auctions are held at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward on Oct. 6. (Video taken by Takuya Isayama and Tsubasa Setoguchi)

Tsukiji fish market in central Tokyo, famed as “Japan’s kitchen” and a top tourist destination, held its last auctions early Oct. 6, closing out an 83-year history.

The facility, part of the Tokyo metropolitan government’s Central Wholesale Market, will be relocated to the Toyosu district, 2.3 kilometers away.

The new market will start operations on Oct. 11.

The relocation was delayed by two years after toxic soil was discovered at the site formerly occupied by a Tokyo Gas Co. factory.

The last tuna auction at the Tsukiji market got under way at 5:30 a.m.

Prior to the proceedings, Takeshi Yoshida, president of wholesaler Tsukiji Uoichiba, said in a speech, “The role and achievements of the Tsukiji market will be taken over by the Toyosu market.”

Hordes of people visited the market Oct. 6 to bid farewell to the Tokyo landmark.

On a typical day, about 1,500 tons of fish and seafood products were traded. The volume accounted for one-quarter of sales at central wholesale markets across Japan.

Fish traded at Tsukiji was known as the “Tsukiji brand.”

Due to the aging facilities dating back to 1935, the Tokyo metropolitan government decided to relocate the market, located in Chuo Ward, to the Toyosu district of Koto Ward.

Harmful substances such as benzene in concentrations far higher than the environmental standard were detected at the new site, fueling concerns about product safety.

After Yuriko Koike became Tokyo governor in 2016, she decided to postpone the relocation while steps were taken to ensure safety.

The Toyosu market was declared safe in July.

Although some business operators remain opposed to the relocation, most of the 800 or so intermediate wholesalers and restaurant operators in the Tsukiji market plan to move to the Toyosu site.

The public will be able to use restaurants and other outlets in the Toyosu market from Oct. 13, and observe tuna auctions from Jan. 15, 2019.