Wednesday, 6th January 2016
In General Japan News,
Tsukiji Fish Market sees customary high bids for tuna
Every year the first auction at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo sees bids go for the roof, as businesses vie to bag themselves the top tuna in this auspicious event.
It is a good omen for the rest of the year if a company can outdo its rivals and for the fifth year in a row, the same restaurant owner has achieved this aim.
Kiyoshi Kimura, president of a chain of sushi restaurants, paid 14 million yen (£80,000) for a Bluefin tuna weighing 200 kilograms.
The fatty belly of the fish is especially prized in Japan and commands a high price in restaurants across the country.
This year’s auction was a particularly special one, as it will be the last sale of its kind on the current site, as the famous fish market is being relocated in November.
A market has stood on the current site in central Tokyo since the Edo Period, but that history will come to an end when it is moved to Toyosu in the Koto area of the city.
In its place, a redevelopment including a waterfront park, shopping centre and passenger ferry terminal will be built.
Mr Kimura’s winning bid was higher than the amount of 4.51 million yen he paid for the top tuna last year, but he has not exceeded the record, which he set in 2013.
That year he handed over a whopping 155 million yen to ensure he laid claim to the biggest fish in the auspicious annual auction.
The tuna that is sold at the market is caught off the coast of Oma in Aomori Prefecture, which is located in the north of Japan.
Japan consumes by far the most tuna of anywhere in the world, although the growing popularity of sushi is seeing demand rise in other countries.
Related news stories:
Japan's "fish obsession" highlighted (26th February 2010)
Business Insider recommends best little-known destinations in Japan (1st October 2015)
Fish waving and what it means to Japan (20th December 2012)