2017 Tsukiji Tuna by the Numbers

tsukiji-tuna-2017

Today is the first day that Tsukiji Market is open, and the first tuna auction. The most expensive is called #1 tuna, ichiban maguro, and went for 74,200,000 JPY ($632,000 USD). The buyer was a popular sushi chain, Sushi Zanmai. The president, Kiyoshi Kimura, has bought the #1 tuna for the last six years running.

It was thought that last year would be the last tuna auction at the historic Tsukiji Market. Many issues have delayed the move to Toyosu.

President Kimura has said that he will cut the tuna at 2:00 p.m. at his Tsukiji Market main shop. He will sell the tuna at regular prices. The fatty tuna, ootoro, should sell for 10,000 JPY ($100) per piece, but he’ll sell it at regular prices, so 390 JPY ($4). As tuna is a big fish, it is actually better for it to be aged for a while for best flavor and texture, but it’s hard to resist having a bite of history.

It is important to understand the value of the tuna is not worth $632,000 USD, but that this is a popular marketing and PR opportunity for whoever buys the winning tuna. The media coverage alone on television is priceless. Every major news channel covered the event and followed the tuna to Sushi Zanmai. Interviews were held all morning and in the afternoon. The coverage will extend to the evening. Tomorrow’s print media will also have it on the front of almost every paper. So yes, it’s great publicity for the media-hungry Japanese market.

Tuna by the Numbers:

  • 212 kg bluefin tuna from Ohma, Aomori
  • $3,000 USD per kg (35,000 JPY per kg)
  • $632,000 USD for the whole tuna
  • 5 times the price of last year’s tuna
  • The 2013 year’s record tuna sold for 155,400,000 JPY or roughly $1.76 million US Dollars.
  • Estimated 15,000 pieces of sushi can be made from a tuna of this size. To make it even, each piece should be sold for 5,000 JPY, but will go for only 300 – 400 JPY.

Tuna Lovers’ Day Trip From Tokyo

Misaki Maguro Kippu is a special discounted train, bus, and lunch ticket that is a fun day trip from Tokyo for tuna lovers. Many Japanese train and bus lines offer discounted tickets for round-trip excursions. Misaki is a famous port for tuna. Maguro is tuna, and kippu is for ticket.

The Misaki Maguro Kippu can be purchased from the Shinagawa Keikyu line ticket booth. 3,060 JPY per ticket which includes round-trip fare on the express trains as well as all bus routes on the peninsula. We only made it to the fishing port, but if you have more time, you could also visit an aquarium and an onsen on the bus routes.

The express train goes to Misaki-guchi 三崎口 station. From there take a bus to Misaki-ko 三崎港. We went on a weekend and about 40 others from the train were also using the same pass so we just followed them to the bus. The train ride was a little over an hour and the bus to the fishing port was another 20 minutes.

The ticket includes lunch in the city. The tickets come with a map with photos of the different lunches available on the peninsula. There are 30 shops to choose from. Here is a link to the options:

http://www.keikyu.co.jp/information/otoku/otoku_maguro/list.html

Many shops are busy on the weekends, so be prepared to stand in line. We went on a colder day and didn’t have to wait to get seated.

After lunch we went to the seafood market which was like many seafood markets in fishing ports around Japan. As Misaki is known for tuna, most of the vendors were selling tuna, mostly frozen cuts called saku. The second floor of the market is a farmers’ market. I picked up all of the daikon above for 500 JPY.

This is a fun day trip from Tokyo. The shops are kid-friendly. We will do it again, next time in the summer and we’ll be sure to see the aquarium and onsen. There is a bicycle rental shop and ferry rides are also available at the port.

Details on the Misaki Maguro Kippu (in Japanese):

http://www.keikyu.co.jp/information/otoku/otoku_maguro/

Shout-out to Takumi-san at Roberto Perozzi Salon in Shibuya. I go to Roberto to get my hair cut and Takumi-san told me about this ticket, arigato! If you need your hair cut in Tokyo, Roberto is the best.

2016 Tsukiji Market Record Tuna by Numbers

Tsukiji 2016 tuna.JPG

  • This year’s most expensive tuna sold at 14,000,000 JPY or roughly $117,220 US dollars.
  • The bluefin tuna weighed about 200 kg (about 440 pounds).
  • The price per kilogram was about 70,000 JPY or roughly $585 US dollars.
  • The tuna came from Ohma in Aomori prefecture and was caught on January 3rd.
  • The tuna was bought by the sushi chain, Sushi Zanmai. Kimura Shacho (president) commented that 3 days of aging makes it for perfect eating for today.
  • Sushi Zanmai has bought the winning tuna the last four years in a row.
  • The 2013 year’s record tuna sold for 155,400,000 JPY or roughly $1.76 million US Dollars.
  • This year’s tuna came in at about 3 times last year’s record-winning price.
  • This is the last opening tuna auction to be held at Tsukiji Market. Next year the tuna auction will be held at the new market, Toyosu Market. The name Tsukiji will stay at the current location. The current Tsukiji Market’s outer market will remain and can keep the famous brand name that is named after the area.

Tsukiji tuna graph

Graph of the winning tuna price over the last ten years.

Tsukiji Sushi Zanmai

Kimura Shacho (president) of Sushi Zanmai. Proud owner of the best tuna at Tsukiji’s last opening tuna auction. Each year he brings the winning tuna to his main shop in the outer market. The shop is just behind him in this photo, with the winning tuna waiting to be cut into.

Japanese:

初競り はつせり first auction

黒鮪 くろまぐろ bluefin tuna

大間 おおま Ohma port

 

Maguronald まぐろナルド

Maguronald

Maguronald

With an awesome name like Maguronald, which sounds an awful like lot McDonald’s when pronounced in Japanese, this is definitely worth checking out. Maguro, or of course, tuna, is the specialty of this small 20 seat restaurant in Ginza. It is open for lunch and dinner and closed on Sunday and holidays. And affordable, budget about 1,000 or 2,000 JPY per person. Beer, shochu, and sake is served.

The menu is very simple, tuna zuke (sashimi marinated in soy) donburi (rice bowl), chutoro, sashimi, tatsuta-age (think fried chicken made from tuna), and tuna yakitori. There are some vegetable side dishes as well.

A lot of this is food we often eat at home, especially the sashimi and the tuna zuke donburi. It’s really comfort food and if you like tuna, you’ll love Maguronald.

No website yet, just a facebook page.

Maguronald

Chuo-ku, Ginza 4-13-3

Phone: 03-3546-0012