Tuna On The Road - The Relocation Of Tokyo's Fish Market

Director: Klaus Scherer

Producer: Shiori Suzuki, Anatol Munz

Country: DE


It is the autumn of 2017 when the city's traditional fish market closes in the heart of Tokyo. Tsukiji" not only disappears as the world's largest and best-selling fish and seafood hub, with thousands of family businesses selling up to 20 million euros a day but is also one of the most popular destinations among Japanese travelers.
At the same time, many of those involved are faced with a challenge that can hardly be solved because they have to transfer the entire market, which also includes vegetable traders, knife sharpeners and restaurants, to a new building on an artificial island in the harbour bay on only four days of the move.
As the only foreign television reporter, the long-time Asia correspondent of ARD, Klaus Scherer, received permission to accompany several people affected during the move with his team. Among them are a tuna retailer who supplies Tokyo's top chefs, the operator of a shoe and souvenir shop and a lender of local small carts, tricycles and loading trucks, several thousand of which also must get to their new location on time.
The film does not only illuminate the nocturnal convoy on the bridge in Tokyo Bay, but also for the last time the abundance of the dazzling market life, including the famous tuna auctions, before it embarks on the adventure of moving with the actors. The displeasure caused by the decision against the declared will of the traders also becomes clear. For years they had wanted to save "Tsukiji" with the local residents. Now the plans of the city as Olympic organizer in 2020 were the decisive factor in redesigning the site.


"Tuna On The Road" was a challenge to film. The location totally packed, with nearly every shot restricted and all steakholders under stress because of the planned or ongoing move. But thanks to a five awesome protagonists, all different in biography and style, but at the same time open minded towards our project, we succeeded. There was no other crew or broadcaster, both national and international, to cover the last days of Tsukiji like we did. I confess to be proud of and thankful for that.