The Blues have become the first New Zealand Super franchise to fall to Japan's Sunwolves with the Auckland team comprehensively beaten 48 - 21 in Tokyo.
The Sunwolves fought back from a 21-5 first half deficit with the home team running in six second half tries in the 35 degree heat in Tokyo's Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium.
James Parsons, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti and Michael Collins scored tries for the Blues inside the first 25 minutes before the home side responded with some scintillating backline play and scrambling defence.
Keisuke Uchida reduced the deficit to 21-12 at halftime before the home side ran riot after the break as they capitalised on Jerome Kaino being sinbinned for a high tackle.
Centre Timothy Lafaele scored a hat-trick of tries before Yoshitaka Tokunaga burst out of three tackles with less than two minutes remaining to end the scoring after a pulsating second half performance.
The match ends a disappointing season for the Blues who last month stunned the British and Irish Lions 22-16 in Auckland.
It is the second win for the Sunwolves, coached by former Hurricane Filo Tiatia, who upset South Africa's Bulls earlier in the season.