Sushi and sashimi lovers already know that Japanese tuna is a singular treat — and the bluefin tuna caught in the charming Aomori port town of Oma, right at the northernmost tip of Honshu island, tops the lot. Known as the “black diamond of the Tsugaru Strait” for the spectacular auction prices it has been known to fetch at Tokyo’s fish markets—including an eye-popping 333.6 million yen (over $3 million USD) for a single fish in 2019—Oma Tuna is a delicacy no self-respecting gourmet should miss.
Only the finest and largest (30 kg plus) fish caught in Oma are deemed worthy of the Oma Tuna label. Fishermen square off against these massive creatures using two traditional methods: pole-fishing by day and longline fishing by night. Requiring masterful technique, unlike common net fishing, these methods cause minimal injury and damage to the fish, allowing for each Oma Tuna to be shipped in ideal condition.
While Oma Tuna is served at fine eateries nationwide, there’s surely no better place to enjoy it than right in Oma itself—a town that truly lives and breathes tuna. Visit during September and October when the tuna season is in full swing, and you can take part in “Tuna Days”, featuring tuna tastings, exhibitions where you can watch the massive fish being carved up close, and much more. One taste of the luscious, melt-in-your-mouth fish and you’ll know why Oma Tuna has become a household name.
99 Oma, Oaza Oma, Oma-cho, Shimokita-gun, Aomori Prefecture
(Oma Town Tourism Association)
Airport: Hakodate Airport
Hours vary by establishment.
+81-175-37-2233 (Oma Town Tourism Association)
Phone numbers for other facilities may vary.
From Hakodate Airport, take an airport bus to Hakodate Station (about 20 minutes), then another bus (also 20 minutes) to the Tsugaru Kaikyo Ferry Hakodate Terminal. From there, it is a 90-minute ferry ride to Oma Town.