I’m in Ōma, Aomori Prefecture, and I’ve come here for one reason in particular Maguro, a lot of people say that this is the center of the Moguro world here in Aomori has some of the best anywhere And I’ve come here to find out – how good is it? At the luggage carousel in Aomori Airport, I was greeted with a welcome sign written on a tuna Yeah, Hon-Maguro is big here Ōma is famous throughout Japan for having the top bluefin tuna, and you can see the city’s love and respect for Hon-Maguro just about everywhere This deco truck at the dock transports Ōma’s Hon-Maguro to Tsukiji market the drivers love for the fish painted all around the exterior Ōma is located in Aomori prefecture on the very top of Honshu Japan’s main island The Tsugaru straight between Hokkaido and Aomori is where the bluefin tuna swim from the Pacific to the Sea of Japan the best season from autumn to New Year Ōma’s right at the tip with easy access to the sea The port town has a lot of small fishing vessels that towns populations surrounding it I got the chance to go out in a fishing boat and watch the other fisherman hunt Maguro But first I had to prepare for the rough seas ahead The captain gave us a quick explanation before boarding the boat has large lights on it to catch squid at night But doubles up as a model boat in season The winds picked up quickly as we made our way out to see The ride got quite bumpy at times swaying a couple of meters from side to side there was a feeling of urgency on this hunt getting out there quickly with other fishermen trying to catch a bluefin tuna the competitive spirit was in the air You can see large schools of Maguro on radar and many fishermen start the hunt when they find that zone So, the Maguro watching is started I don’t see any Maguro and I’m not sure how you would know unless the captain tells you over there But the sea is pretty rough. It’s about one or two meters sized waves may be higher But that just makes it all the more fun In Aomori it is customary to battle the bluefin tuna with line and pole Bluefin tuna here can weigh between 200 and 300 kilograms and the fight between fishermen and fish is real When you catch one it really is a reason to celebrate Once an Ōma Hon-Maguro are sold for as much as one hundred and fifty five point four million. Yen, or one point four million dollars This restaurant in Ōma is called Oh-manzoku, and the place where I had my first Hon-Maguro of the day After the fish is caught it has to be transported to Tsukiji market in Tokyo where it’s auctioned Omanzoku has to buy the fish there and transport it back The restaurant buys three to four Ōma Hon-Maguro for a week on average Not only is this model valuable it weighs over 200 kilograms 440 pounds it’s carefully moved to the cutting table When one comes in restaurant donor Takeuchi-san can put on the bluefin tuna carving show But what makes Ōma’s Hon-Maguro so popular and delicious ? At Tsukiji market bitters check the Maguro for its fattiness and consistency Ōma Hon-Maguro is Consistently the best because in the Tsugaru straights They eat a lot of squid and fatty saury or mackerel pike by the time They get to Ōma their meat has a wonderful fat consistency and taste Back in Ōma the tuna is inspected carefully and then prepped for carving Takeuchi-san puts on a show every time a Maguro comes in Tourists come from all over Japan and the world to watch him cut up a tuna that can cost as much as a car He uses a variety of knives and saws each has its own job to do on a certain part of the tuna The audience claps at certain times knowing the job of carving the tuna is far from easy Takeuchi-san has been doing this for years the motions done on instinct This is Akami (red meat) That’s right! listen up! Here are the three Hon-Maguro cuts you need to know Akami is the lean red meat taken from the fin Chutoro is from the middle belly with higher fat content Ōtoro is from the lower belly and the pinkest from the high fat content Yeah, this is going to melt in your mouth and since there’s not much of it. It’s expensive You can get all three in the restaurant. It’s open 365 days a year Look at that Ōtoro. I also love Akami too. Different consistency different taste so this is it This is the motto that he was cutting up in the front of the shop just a few minutes ago and now here, it is on my plate and I’m just looking at the one right in front of me This is Ōtoro and Chutoro and Akami, and the Ōtoro, it’s just so beautiful look at that This is the fatty piece of tuna I feel good. It’s so tender, so soft. You don’t even have to chew it just it melts in your mouth Let’s talk with the owner Takeuchi-san about what makes Ōma tuna so great There are many reasons why Ōma’s tuna is so great, in particular, Ōma’s Maguro eats a lot of live squids Just having catched, tuna doesn’t distribute the fat evenly in the whole body Even fat distribution in the body takes about two or three days For exaplme, if a tuna is caught today, it would be packed in the box tomorro morning and send to Tokyo when arrived at Tsukiji, the tuna is to bring under the hammer and the brokers buy the tuna, and sells it to a restaurant owner for example. so that, Tokyoites can eat the Ōma’s Maguro around three days after being caught at the earliest So that tuna makes a long round trip to Tokyo in fact But why? Ōma’s fishermen are not willing to sell the Tuna to me It’s okay I can’t do that here in Ōma so my son took my boat from me. That may be jokingly true But Takeuch-san’s victories can be seen in the photos around the restaurant And the Ōma labels from Hon-maguro bought in Tsukiji served the customers are proudly displayed on the wall But we’re not done eating I hopped across town to another restaurant This is Hama Sushi and they take full advantage of the town’s Hon-Maguro The Sushi, Sashimi and Kaisen-don are all great, but I’m here for a full seven-course Maguro meal This is the full course it’s a really big meal as you can see Everything is Maguro it comes from the Maguro of the tuna all of it local here from Ōma a lot of it I’ve never seen before which makes it very very exotic and extremely unique. I can’t wait to dig into this I don’t even know where to start A boiling pot of something definitely from Maguro, but why? Most of this won’t suit everybody’s palate, but this is Maguro Sushi and something we all know The full course will set you back over 7,000 yen or about $70 But it’s the best way to get the full scope of Maguro cuisine in Ōma So there you have it Japan’s most famous Maguro and Ōma Aomori you come here for the experience the love for the sea and fish Almost culture is surrounded by the bluefin tuna and if you’re a fan of Maguro and eating the best Sushi around It’s a must visit destination for foodies and adventure seekers with big stomachs Itadakimasu Next time I head to Gunma Prefecture to visit the Tomioka silk mill Have you ever wondered why Japan is so high-tech with machinery and electronics Well it all started here, and it was the silk industry that started Japan’s economic surge If you liked it hit that subscribe button and check out another one of our shows Don’t miss my second live streaming channel ONLY in JAPAN GO and check out location photos on Instagram Matane!