Swank sushi fetches $736,000 in Japan

This tuna is worth savoring: It cost nearly three-quarters of a million dollars.

A bluefin tuna caught off northeastern Japan fetched a record 56.49 million yen, or about $736,000, Thursday in the first auction of the year at Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market. The price for the 593-pound tuna beat last year’s record of 32.49 million yen.

The price translates to 210,000 yen per kilogram, or $1,238 per pound — also a record, said Yutaka Hasegawa, a Tsukiji market official.

Though the fish is undoubtedly high quality, the price has more to do with the celebratory atmosphere that surrounds the first auction of the year.

Bluefin tuna is prized for its tender red meat. The best slices of fatty bluefin — called “o-toro” here — can sell for 2,000 yen ($24) per piece at sushi bars. A shop in Tsujiki was selling fatty tuna sushi from the prized fish for 418 yen ($5.45) apiece Thursday.

Associated Press