No.187 (5/13/11)

Tsuru Kame Shokudou (ߋTH) -- Crane Turtle Diner

By Naomi Kobayashi
Staff Writer
Translated by Nao H. Kauffman

gWhat is that!?h
Maguro don came to our table!
I could not believe my own eyes when my order came to my table! Then, all the people in the restaurant stared at it all at once! It was a tuna rice bowl!

Do you know rice bowls in Japan called Donburi? Donburi is a popular Japanese dish, which is a bowl of cooked rice with such toppings as cutlet, tempura, eel, or fresh sashimi (raw seafood). My order was like another full bowl of tuna upside down on top of the rice bowl. If you shake it a little, the tuna almost fell off the bowl. The restaurant is called Tsuru Kame Shokudou and is in Asamushi which is right ouside Aomori City. It is very close to the Asamushi Kankou Hotel, which was introduced on page 4 of the November 12th edition of The Insider (No. 175) I would like to describe this location in detail below.

bowl sizes
The diner has been in business for 25 years and has a long history. (You can also enjoy a beautiful sunset view from the diner.) Once you enter the diner, you will find many stickers on part of the wall. Every sticker is from an individual tuna. They serve tuna rice bowls, minced seared tuna bowls, ramen, tempura, and curry rice, etc. The tuna rice bowl has four different sizes, mini (1,200 yen), small (1,500 yen), medium (1,800 yen), and large (2,500 yen). The seared tuna bowl has two different sizes, small (1,200 yen) and medium (1,500 yen.) All the bowl menus come with a bowl of miso soup and some pickles. The owner strongly recommends the medium tuna bowl because this size serves two to three people. If you need, you can additionally order miso soup as a single order since the set comes with only one bowl of miso soup.

maguro don
Where should we start eating? With the large amount of sashimi pieces, the owner kindly brings serving plates for you to split the sashimi. You can dip the sashimi into some soy sauce, or you can unreservedly pour some soy sauce directly over the bowl and freely enjoy the whole bowl. It is your choice.

As for directions to the diner, drive toward the Asamushi Aquarium from Misawa by taking Route 4 for Noheji. You will see a yellow sign on your left after you pass the aquarium and the convenience store, Mini Stop. They are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (the last order by 7:30 p.m.) all year round. Their lunch time on weekends is quite busy since they were introduced on television. From 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., or after 2 p.m., they may not be busy as much as their peak times. However, you may want to remember that they can be quickly sold out on Sunday afternoon. According to the owner, an American doctor learned about this diner on the internet and came all the way to the diner for this special tuna bowl. Tuna is very healthy and rich in DHA and EPA. The dinerfs special menu is well worth seeing.

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