Matsuzaka beef, Ohmi beef and Kobe beef are the top three brands of Wagyu beef (Japanese beef). Kobe beef is very popular outside of Japan now, but there are many kinds of wagyu beefs. Wagyu is the name of high class Japanese beef bland, ‘Wa’ means Japan and ‘Gyu’ means “Cattle/Cow” in Japanese. Please enjoy the amazing flavor of wagyu beefs while you are in Japan, it is tender and melts in your mouth.
#1. Tajima Beef – Hyogo
Tajima beef is one of the best wagyu brand in Japan and the cattle has good quality. It’s well known that Tajima cattle are the ancestor of Kobe cattle, Matsuzaka cattle and Ohmi cattle and have long history from Heian era. The cattle are raised in Tajima region in the north of Hyogo prefecture, it’s highly prized meat and rich flavor. Let’s compare the tastes of Tajima beef and Kobe beef when you visit Hyogo prefecture!
#2. Kobe Beef – Hyogo
Kobe beef, raised in Kobe of Hyogo prefecture, is probably the most popular wagyu beef brand in the outside of Japan. The unique breeding way of Kobe cattle is very famous. They are made to listen to music, given beer to drink and massaged, for example. The massage is good to relieve stress and muscle stiffness.
#3. Yonezawa Beef – Yamagata
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Yonezawa cattle are raised in Yonezawa region of Yamagata prefecture by extremes climate between hot and cold. The cattle eat rice straw by the mineral rich of nature during the 32 months, it’s good place for cattle to thrive in Yonezawa which is surrounded by abundant nature and mountains.
#4. Matsuzaka Beef – Mie
Matsuzaka beef is a brand of Wagyu raised in Mie prefecture and it is rare and expensive. In fact the quality grade is higher than Kobe beef. The Matsuzaka beef has many enthusiasts in Japan. This beef is rich and melts in your mouth.
#5. Hida Beef – Gifu
Hida beef is the name given to beef from black haired cattle that the cattle are raised in Hida region in Gifu prefecture for at least 14 months. There are beautiful mountains and hot springs in Hida. You can find many restaurants of Hida beef and I recommend you order A5 quality grade one. It’s beautiful marbling appears and marble fat, so tender and melts in your mouth. But price is cheaper than three major Wagyu.
#6. Ohmi Beef – Shiga
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Ohmi beef is not famous among foreigners but this beef is one of the Japan’s Top Three Wagyu. The cattle are raised in an environment surrounded by clear water and abundant nature in Shiga prefecture. Ohmi beef cattle have over 400 years history from Edo era. It’s said that Ohmi beef was presented to the warlord in 1590 because it was also used arcanum of perpetual youth and longevity. Please don’t forget to try Ohmi beef steak when you visit Kyoto or Shiga. It’s sweet flavor and scrumptious type of Wagyu.