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Walk into any sushi restaurant and the odds are you'll be ordering tuna
Whether it's a akami, the strikingly red most commonly eaten cut
Or chutoro, medium fatty tuna, or for high fliers who like it buttery
Smooth is otoro, the fattiest cart the tuna, which falls apart in your mouth served together
They make up an iconic palette of red and pink and once you've tasted it
You'll be forever delighted you got used to eating raw fish
Even if it can be a wallet draining addiction
But there's one man who makes a mockery of us all with our pitiful wallets
that is Kiyoshi Kimura, known in Japan as the Tuna King
The Tuna King owns one of Japan's largest sushi chains, Sushi Zanmai, and not only loves tuna
I mean just look at his cheeky spine
But he also has a reputation for smashing the world record for the most expensive tuna ever auctioned.
In January 2019, he splashed out incredible 3.1 million dollars on a single
278 kilogram bluefin tuna coming in at five thousand dollars per pound, but this wasn't just any tuna in Japan
there's a real premium placed on the finest sourced ingredients from
$250 marbled Kobe beef sauce from Tajima black cattle to the obscenely expensive
Yubari King melons cultivated in Hokkaido and sold for
$30,000. Tuna is no exception. All of Japan's most prized. Tuna comes from one place
The Shimokita Peninsula sticks out at the top of Japan's main island of Honshu looking not too dissimilar from an axe
It's a mysterious frontier
But it's in the town of Oma on its most northern tip where fishermen go out into the fertile seas of the Tsugaru
Strait to catch the million-dollar tuna auctioned off in Tokyo and today my mischievous Japanese companion Ryotaro
and I have traveled to Honshu's northern edge to see the fish being caught but our first stop in this mysterious land isn't
Otherworldly rugged looking landscape that feels like it'd be right at home on another planet
First time I saw this place was in the book called
40 greatest views of the world and there's only one from Japan and this is it, Hotekegaura.
Definitely got a bit of the edge of the world kind of vibe going on
The only way that I do know that it's not the edge of the world is I can see Hokkaido
In the distance across the sea
One of the first things we noticed when we got down here is there's a giant owl there and in the rock formation
There's a giant owl. I thought that was intentional because I also saw a giant eagle over there as well
My initial thought was they've done that for tourism reasons. But according to Ryotaro it's actually just natural
So I look at it clouds when you see something right? I'm not going mental, right?
You're not you know, it's all natural. I mean the other thing I saw is on top of that rock
It looks like a giant monster is just taking a bite taking a chunk out the top of it. I don't find that romantic
Genuinely looks like a bloody eagle. Yeah, like resting. Oh, yeah about to fly
That's why I think it's deliberate
It looks uncannily like an eagle an owl if I see if I see one more rock that looks like an animal or an object
Then we'll know we'll know it's deliberate. No natural.
Found it found one more face that in the distance
It looks like something out of the Rings the head of a giant statue
Lord of the Rings meets Planet of the Apes. And now you're saying that it's intentional again. This is all intentional. This is a setup
It's natural. It's isn't natural
There's no way water could have done that to the rock to make it look like a face or an eagle or an owl
Its rigged! Natural scenic wonder? Lies!
Somebody's carved that out of the rough. I know it. I'm really clever. I'm a youtuber I must be right
Shimokita peninsula is what is known as a Geo site right? A Geopark
Yeah, because it's from the few places in Japan that is completely surrounded by sea, it's shaped like an axe
And they have sea from 360 degrees and also it's very seismic as well
It's been recognized for its geological outstanding nature and they've tried to sell that basically through having geo dining
food that's influenced by the local area, which we are eating now. I haven't even started. He's already eaten it
Brilliant, whatever happened to let's wait for the audience?
So this is um, shiitake mushroom gnocchi with sea urchin sauce topped with shiitake itself
It's a the main local ingredient here are
Mushrooms and also shi- and also sea urchin is really really really good - really rich try that
Try that. It's quite rare, isn't it? Like mixing the almond milk with sea urchin like it to make a sauce
Well, I've never done it. That's for sure
Then again, I can't cook so I know I must admit the first time I heard Geo dining
I pictured something with a volcano and food. I thought would be like sticking the food in a volcano or something
I'm slightly relieved that it's not that, that it is far tastier than that would be
So this is it the star of the show uni croquette
Croquette with uni and yogurt and seaweed around it
Ryotaro- I've already finished it all finished it at one second
He was nodding. He was shaking his head. He was in all sorts of weird crap. Let's try it because
because because
This is it
Tastes like cheese. Yeah, it's got I think the sea urchin with I think yogurt in it
Like it actually make it make it taste like a little cheesy. Eating a dish like this
It makes me really angry that I stopped eating uni what three years ago
Three years ago, I ate some uni, it was really bad. It was very bitter and horrible
and after that
I just stopped. No uni for three years and then - This changes today when he brought it out
I thought oh God it's some sort of rock straight out of a volcano because it was black because of the squid ink.
Oh, well, that was it. That was an incredible dish
Over the course of the last half decade
I've eaten a staggering amount of tuna with little thought or appreciation how or where it's been caught and today finally
We were going to see it once and for all firsthand
So we popped on a small fishing boat and we've come out into the Tsugaru Strait with the hope of finding tuna fishermen
Who are going out and catching all of the decadent expensive tuna that are swimming beneath us.
There we go. I mean that puts it in perspective. There's dozens of fishing boats out there right now
so the reason this is the best place the best place to get tuna in Japan is with
Numerous currents because we've got the Pacific Ocean that way the Sea of Japan that way the Strait in between mixing the currents
It's the perfect fertile fishing ground for tuna as we found out earlier the most expensive tuna ever
Auctioned in Japan was caught here in the Strait. They call them black diamonds these days. They call Oma tuna black diamonds
Because they're so expensive. Because of the money you could get there selling them if we were smart
We would have bought our own fishing rod and trying to get a piece of the action, but we're not that smart
Why didn't we try to get our own tuna?
We could have left the trip with a profit
Despite Ryotaro's pessimistic odds of spotting a tuna actually being caught
It turns out fortune is smiling upon us when a neighboring fishing boat strikes gold
We've been following this boat for about 20 minutes and they look like they caught something and are reeling it in
they're reeling it in we were circling and finally they brought out an electric shocker and then some kind of spear and
they did it it looked really hard. It look really complicated. Apparently, it's their first time is their debut right? Yes
It's their debut, it's their first. Yeah with the one rod fishing.
it's the first time this this team has actually caught a tuna using the one the one fishing line method and it turns out that
It's actually the cousin of the captain of our ship. So he was pretty happy as well
No sooner had the cousin of the captain successfully hauled their gigantic tuna in we pulled up alongside another boat to witness an
Even bigger tuna being caught. So we just found a new, or second actually, boat. Second tuna.
And right now they are just pulling the line
And this boat happens to be the captain's nephew and the other one was the captain's cousin
Everybody is related to the captain of our ship somehow. Exactly. A group of winners
Look at how big it is.
Black diamonds
So this is Pacific bluefin tuna
And in Oma it's actually branded as Oma tuna. Such is the current quality
And reputation of the brand of sushi, but the best of all, it doesn't actually taste like black diamonds.
It tastes like amazing tuna
You may have noticed we're wearing very colorful shirts.
What does this actually say I know it's got a giant maguro on it
Oh maguro... can't read that kanji. Define my shirt.
It's like, your life is dependent on the tuna
Ah so fishermen wear it. Exactly.
Wano Nona. Wano Nona. I don't know what that means
But there is, there is a dialect, I think.
But that means he who is without sin should not eat the fresh tuna
But significant difference is - what's all that about?
That's a sea urchin on armpit
Why under the right arm, but no the left one?
Oh I have no idea
The great mystery of Oma
Why did it?
Why does the t-shirt have sea urchin on the right side but- imagine you're like
on a yamanote train or like well it doesn't have to be in Japan. But like you're just gonna you know
Try to hold the handrail
on the train and suddenly like
What's that?
Some hair anemones
There is one more item of clothing they sell out here
Oh yeah exactly
And it's this little cute underwear
Says again, my life is dependent on tuna
Rather precariously placed there on the underwear, "my life is tuna"
Imagine going on a date with a girl and it all going quite well, and then you get down to underwear level
And then they see this oh my life depends on tuna
Yeah, so
question is would that be a plus or a minus? Would that be good or bad?
And mind you and this is actually a gift for Chris
Really? Yeah, it was actually well, so
This all yours like, hey lucky me. So make sure you go to that level, you know, I mean
some time with my... your tuna
The Shimokita Peninsula
Is easily accessible from Hakodate in Hokkaido by ferry. It takes just 90 minutes
or you can catch a bullet train from Tokyo Station to Hachinohe and switch to a local train which takes about
Four hours today has been one hell of an intense day but now to wrap things up
We've got squid racing an actual thing. I'm not making it up. This is a racing track for squid
Apparently use a little brush and you sort of prod the water
a few inches behind the squid and they launch forward like a torpedo like a rocket
Around the track and that is what we're gonna do now
It's yeah
So fast
You won! You somehow won!
Somehow won I had the faster squid.
Yeah first prize look at that
By the way, Chris what happened to the squid that you - Sammy the squid?
Yeah well he won didn't he? He won. And his reward, I don't know. I don't know what they do
I just saw him like go in the kitchen. Oh
No, that's not fair. After I mean if it wasn't for him I wouldn't have won what whatever that is?
Yeah, that's a good time to wrap things up. But for now guys, that's all. We'll see you next time
Thank you Ryotaro. Thank you Sammy the squid. this way. Thank you. Thank your squid and
Bye for now