Japanese businessman buys large tuna for $1.8 million: 'Yes, this is expensive, isn't it?'

A Japanese businessman dropped a whopping $1.8 million on a massive tuna fish at a New Year's auction at the Toyosu fish market in Tokyo on Sunday, according to CNN

Kiyoshi Kimura, the so-called "Tuna King" who heads restaurant chain Sushi Zanmai, paid 193 million yen for a 608-pound bluefin tuna, the network noted, citing Japanese public broadcaster NHK. 

"This is the best," Kimura told reporters, according to the AFP news agency. "Yes, this is expensive, isn't it? I want our customers to eat very tasty ones this year too."

Though the price was extremely high, it reportedly fell well short of the $3.1million (333.6 million yen) Kimura paid for a 612-pound fish the year before. 

In an interview with Business Insider last year, chef Derek Wilcox — who trained in Japan for 10 years — revealed that bluefin tuna tends to be most sought-after fish among sushi restaurants. 

"Only bluefin has the intense marbling," he said. "Bluefin also, when it's aged properly, has a particular balance of flavors."

The price of a bluefin tuna depends on a variety of factors, including where it's caught. One on the East Coast, for example, could cost between $20 and $40 a pound, Wilcox said. But a bluefin tuna caught in Japan and sent to the U.S. could cost upwards of $400 a pound, he added. 

Related: Here are the best sushi spots in America: 

Best Sushi Spots in America
See Gallery
Best Sushi Spots in America
Arami -Chicago, IL
Q Sushi - Los Angeles, California
Arigato - Santa Barbara, CA
Hokusei - Portland, OR
ICHI Sushi + NI Bar - San Francisco, CA
Mirai Sushi - Chicago, IL 
MIYAKE - Portland, ME 
O Ya - Boston, MA
Q Sushi - Los Angeles, CA
Sushi Kimagure Ike - Los Angeles, CA
Shiro's Sushi Restaurant - Seattle, WA 
Sushi Gen - Los Angeles, CA
Sushi Miyagi - Houston, TX
Sushi Nakazawa - New York, NY
Sushi Ota - San Diego, CA
Sushi Ran - Sausalito, CA
Sushi Tora - Boulder, CO
Tokkuri-Tei - Honolulu, HI
Tomo - Atlanta, GA
Zuma - Miami, FL

Read Full Story