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Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Last Tsukuji Fish Market New Year's Auction

Well... January 5, 2018 marks the last new year auction at the Tsukuji Fish Market  - though the market is open a while longer with other auctions going on throughout the remaining time it is open.

After opening in 1935, the Tokyo-based, world's largest fish market known as Tsukuji is closing its doors on the site and moving to a new one in Toyosu, a former gas plant, in October of 2018.

Proving that change is inevitable in Japan, the self-proclaimed sushi king Kimura Kiyoshi (surname first), a gentleman who owns a sushi chain, and who usually proves he is over charging his customers, this year did NOT have the highest bid for a bluefin tuna... a highly prized fish that is on the threatened species list.

Back in 2013, Kimura made waves when he paid US1.8 million for a bluefin, out-dueling a rival from Hong Kong. Last year, he spent US$600,000 for a 212 kilogram (467.38 pounds) bluefin... hmm, maybe he's running out of money...

Because this year, Kimura wasn't the top bidder, as some anonymous bidder paid 36.5 million yen (US$322,851) for a 400 kilogram (881.849 pound) tuna caught off the coast of northern Aomori-ken.

Hmm... is it just me, or did the price for tuna drop dramatically this year over last?

The fish market offers about 480 different types of seafood on a daily basis worth 1.5 billion yen/US$13.57 million. It also offers vendors selling 270 types of fruits and vegetables.

As for this being the last time we'll ever report on the Tsukuji Fish Market, I wonder how long we'll be able to report on the bluefin tuna.

Andrew Joseph
PS: In the photo above taken by Toru Hanai for Reuters, people pose with some of the huge bluefin tuna auctioned off at Tsukuji on January 5, 2018... the middle fish is a whopping 405 kilograms (892.872 pounds).
PPS: Thank-you, Vinnie!

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