If the price is astronomical, it does not constitute a record. A 212 kg bluefin tuna found a buyer for 36 million yen (257,000 euros) at a traditional New Year’s auction on Thursday in Tokyo, a price almost twice as high as in 2022.
The prestigious sushi restaurateur Onodera Group and the Japanese wholesaler Yamayuki won the day, as in last year’s edition.
Strong publicity for the winner
The sharp increase over one year reflects an improvement in the market trend, after three years of falling prices due to the pandemic, which particularly weighed on the Japanese restaurant sector. But the absolute record for this tuna auction, reached in 2019 before the pandemic (333 million yen, or 2.7 million euros at the time), is still very far.
Self-proclaimed “King of Tuna” Kiyoshi Kimura has long reigned over this symbolic event and providing the winner with strong publicity, and it was this restaurateur who paid the record price in 2019. But in recent years, he has shown himself less spendthrift, citing the pandemic.