Skip to navigationSkip to content

Photos: The last New Year’s tuna auction at Tokyo’s world-famous Tsukiji Fish Market

EPA/Franck Robichon
  • Thu-Huong Ha
By Thu-Huong Ha


Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Earlier today (Jan. 5) a time-honored, cash-crazed tradition came to an end: Tsukiji Fish Market’s annual auction of the year’s first bluefin tuna.

Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market supplies the world’s top sushi restaurants with high-grade fish, and every year, buyers place exorbitant bids for the year’s first tuna. This year, one prized fish went for 14 million JPY ($117,590). Only three years ago, one tuna at the first auction sold for nearly $2 million.

This was the last year for the annual spectacle at the market’s 80-year-old home in Tsukiji. In November, the market will relocate to the city’s Toyosu district, in anticipation of the 2020 Summer Olympics.

See photos of the final Tsukiji New Year’s auction:

Pre-auction examination. (EPA/Franck Robichon)
A wholesaler inspects frozen tuna before the first auction of the year. (EPA/Franck Robichon)
Masaki Kimura (left) cuts the sold tuna. (EPA/Kiyoshi Ota)
A staff member holds up a cut. (EPA/Kiyoshi Ota)
Kiyoshi Kimura, president of sushi restaurant chain store operator Kiyomura Co., poses with his tuna. (EPA/Kiyoshi Ota)
A sushi chef serves pieces of the 200-kilogram bluefin tuna sold for $117,000. (EPA/Kiyoshi Ota)
EPA/Franck Robichon
Tsukiji market at dawn.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.