Snow crab sells for record-breaking $46,000 in Japan

Snow Crabs are a delicacy in Japan and a prized catch

A "five shining star" snow crab was auctioned off in Tottori, Japan for a whopping 5 million yen ($46,000) on November 7. It's the highest-ever price paid for a snow crab, according to the Tottori prefecture's fishery promotion division, which was in charge of the auction. The coveted crustacean was a male, weighing 1.2 kg (2.7 pounds) and measuring 14.6 cm (5.74 inches) wide. The bid smashes the previous Guinness world record holding snow crab sale of 2 million yen ($18,000), which was set last year -- also in Tottori. This week's winning bidder was Tetsuji Hamashita, president of fishery wholesaler Hanashita Shoten. The 5 million yen snow crab will end up on a few lucky diners' plates at an upscale restaurant in Tokyo's posh Ginza neighborhood. "I know it's extreme. But it's the custom," Hamashita said. "But I am sure the taste of the crab matches the price."

This year's snow crab hunting season began on Wednesday, November 6, with the first auction -- dubbed the "festive quotation market" -- taking place the following day.

While it's typical for prices to start high on opening day -- auction goers believe it's auspicious to buy the first and best catch of the season -- Hamashita said he expected the winning bid to be closer to 3 million yen.

According to the organizers, auction attendees were surprised by the price as well, with many shouting "banzai" (an auspicious cheer meaning "long life") and applauding.

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Snow crab sells for record-breaking $46,000 in Japan

Snow Crabs are a delicacy in Japan and a prized catch

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