10 Beef You Must Try in Japan

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japanese beef
Source: Naoto Yokoyama

When you say Japanese food, you probably instantly think about sushi or ramen. However, beef is another popular food choice in this country and you simply have to try it if you are visiting Japan. There are many restaurants that offer various types of beef in different meals and you will be able to taste a lot of beef dishes that are absolutely amazing. So let’s dive in and see which beef is popular in Japan.

1. Kobe Beef

kobe beef
Source: tc_manasan

Kobe beef is an exquisite kind of beef that if used in numerous Japanese dishes. It comes from Wagyu cattle that is raised in Hyogo Prefecture only. It is known for its amazing flavor and texture. It will add a special touch to your meals if you decide to eat it as a steak only and you will be able to enjoy its full taste.

2. Matsuzaka Beef

Matsuzaka beef is considered to be the best beef in Japan. It comes from female cattle that have never given birth before. It is high in fat and very tender. It is very tasty and you will feel the difference from the first bite. You might pay a bit more for a piece of Matsuzaka beef, but your taste buds will thank you.

3. Mishima Beef

This rare beef comes from an isolated island called Mishima and it is made from pure bred cattle. The cattle living on Mishima Island came from Korea and wasn’t able to mix with other cattle due to the fact that the island is very secluded. Mishima beef is expensive, but the incredible taste is worth it.

4. Ishigaki Beef

ishigaki beef
Source: pelican

Even though this type of beef doesn’t have a rich history, it is still regarded as one of the high quality beef types available in the Japanese market. It comes from Ishigaki Island and it can be found both on the island, and in stores that specialize in selling beef. It is a bit on a pricey side, but Ishigaki beef is simply amazing.

5. Ohmi beef

ohmi beef
Source: pelican

Another Wagyu variety, Ohmi beef comes from cattle raised in picturesque Shiga Prefecture. The cattle receives great care and they are living surrounded by beautiful nature. The fat in this beef is very firm and you will absolutely love the taste of Ohmi beef, especially when used in traditional dishes.

6. Yonezawa Beef

Yonezawagyu beef is very high in fat so it might not be suitable for everyone. However, it is considered to be delicious and it pretty much melts in your mouth. It is also a bit sweet. The cattle is raised in Yamagata Prefecture where the climate is pretty mild and the nature is wonderful.

7. Kyoto Beef

kyoto beef
Source: Ryosuke Hosoi

As you might have guessed, Kyoto beef comes from Kyoto, and it has a long tradition closely connected to that area. The cattle is raised in a very pleasant and natural environment, breathing in the fresh air. It has a nice and soft flavor and it has just the right amount of fat.

8. Kumamoto Akaushi Beef

This beef is made from rare brown cattle that resides in Kumamoto Prefecture. It is the area known for its untouched nature, beautiful meadows, and clean water. It is also very low in fat so it is healthy and it will bring something completely new and different to your diet.

9. Iwate Beef

Iwate beef comes from Japanese Shorthorn cattle which is raised in Iwate Prefecture. This region is known for breathtaking nature and clean environment. Iwate beef is rich with red meat and very low in fat but it is still delicious and tender. This sort of beef is often used in traditional Japanese cuisine and it is generally very popular.

10. Hitachi Beef

Hitachigyu beef is known for a perfect balance of fat and red meat. It is very appetizing and flavorsome. Raised in Ibaraki Prefecture, the cattle is fed with a special combination of chemical-free foods and they are kept in very natural surroundings. You can find it in a variety of traditional recipes.

If you travel to Japan, you simply have to try the beef there. There are plenty of restaurants that offer masterfully prepared traditional meals that are very palatable and savory and you will definitely taste the difference.

Have a good trip and travel!

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Asia, Japan