Tsukiji Market Coping with the Effects of COVID-19
Aired: Jul. 30, 2020
“Now is the time to take on new challenges” says vice chief director Terade Masahiro of the Tsukiji Outer Market Shopping District Association as he works on various plans to cope with today’s tough times. Tsukiji Market’s well-known shops have come together, each providing one ingredient to create a special take-out bento lunch box. This segment documents the market’s initiatives to develop new business models amidst the coronavirus crisis.
This segment metaphorically held a mirror to the silent roads and deserted market areas in every city and town around the world that were brimming with traffic and bustling with activity as this year began. All the ventures that Terade-san has initiated, in and around Tsukiji, seem to have tasted success, and given that these strategies have been successful now in lean times, the same efforts stand to yield even better results when life opens up further and we have a new normal.
It was quite sobering to see the deserted streets and alleys which are usually teeming with tourists and shoppers at this time of the year. I was fascinated and impressed by the Tsukiji’s special Hanamusubi bento lunchbox and the Experience Family Kit. These food boxes were created by a number of well-known food vendors in Tsukiji Market. I thought it to be quite an ingenious idea. It was heartwarming to see the customers’ responses to these products in person and online. I was impressed by the way the shop owners worked together with one another despite their different customer bases. It showed that they valued unity above financial gain.
I was interested to see how Tsukiji Fish Market has coped with Coronavirus as it is such a busy area and there is a lack of tourists visiting at the moment. It was sad to hear that so many shops have had to close, but it was reassuring to hear about some of the entrepreneurial initiatives which have been put in place to try to mitigate the situation. Many of the foods that were shown looked both delicate and delicious, and it was also pleasing to hear about the collaborative and supportive efforts to sell food from Tsukiji outside Don Quijote.
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