The owner of a chain of sushi restaurants paid ¥14 million ($117,000) for a 200-kilogram bluefin tuna at the first auction of the year at Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market Tuesday.
Kiyoshi Kimura, president of Kiyomura Co., has won the year’s first bid for the fifth consecutive year. He told reporters the tuna “is in great form and should taste splendid.” The tuna was caught off Oma, Aomori prefecture, in northern Japan.
Foods made available for the first time during the year, including tuna, fruits and vegetables, is considered good luck in Japan. They often fetch considerably more at auction than their market value.
Last year, Mr. Kimura had to pay only $37,500 to win the bid. But Tuesday’s tuna was only a fraction of the $1.76 million he splashed out for a 222-kg tuna in January 2013, which still remains an all-time record.
Tuesday marked the final first auction of the year at the legendary Tsukiji market, which is scheduled to be relocated to the Toyosu area in Tokyo this November. “It makes it even more memorable [to win the auction] considering that this is the final year,” Mr. Kimura said.
Source and image: Wall Street Journal