Maguro-don, or tuna rice bowls, are a fun way to try sushi in a completely different way. Rather than having a bit of sushi on rice, you can get a generous heap of fresh sliced fish over steaming white rice. And one of the best places for this just might be in Japan's north – in Aomori Prefecture.
With access to four seas, namely the Sea of Japan, the Pacific Ocean, the Tsugaru Straits, and the Rikuoku Gulf, Aomori Prefecture produces an abundance of seafood, including scallops, squid, and flounder, and the “black diamond” of tuna, the luxurious Pacific bluefin tuna.
For the people who want to eat Aomori’s maguro, or bluefin tuna, but are unable to spare the long traveling time needed to reach the ports or are unable to make it when it’s in season, we’re here to introduce to you the mega maguro-don tuna bowls at one of Aomori City's most popular shops: Tsurukameya Shokudo.

Aomori City’s world-famous tuna

Freshly caught bluefin tuna

Tuna can be caught all over the world, but why is the tuna from Aomori of exceptionally high quality? This has to do with the ocean and environment that the tunas grow up in.
In colder waters, the tunas grow to have firm bodies with ample fat reserves, resulting in exquisite taste and texture.
One brand of bluefin tuna, the Ōma-maguro, which is still fished with single-lined rods, is famous worldwide.
This brand of tuna also made headlines when it netted 300 million yen during the Hatsuzeri, the first fish market auction of the New Year.

Hatsuzeri, the New Year fish market auction, at Tsukiji Market.

If you plan to visit Aomori City to have a taste of tuna, the fishing season for maguro is typically from July to December, and some shops may not carry it when it’s offseason.
Amongst these shops, there are rumors that there is one restaurant where you can have maguro-don the whole year round, and that’s Tsurukameya Shokudo in Aomori prefecture, where we’re heading to today.

Tsurukameya Shokudo: Home of Aomori City's popular and famous maguro-don

Asamushi-Onsen station, on the Aoimori Railway

Twenty minutes away by train from Aomori Station on the Aoimori Railway, is Asamushi-Onsen Station, the closest station to Tsurukameya Shokudo, which is just five minutes away by foot.
Originally opened together with a ski lodge nearby, this eatery has a proud 80-year history, and is well-loved by the locals for its set meals. The place started serving maguro-don around ten years ago.
Initially just snapping up the occasional tuna that pops up in the markets of Aomori City, this restaurant used to serve all the tuna they procured in a single day until they were sold out, until they started procuring tuna in bulk.
And so, maguro-don gradually…

See More >>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *