The Kobe Beef Experience

by Erina - TripleLights travel specialist

kobebeef_steak

Source: http://kobebeef-kanko.com

The holiday season is around the corner and we’re all likely scrambling to gather gifts for our loved ones. Before you splurge on that cashmere sweater for your gourmet-adoring significant other, you may want to reconsider with some food for thought. With the equivalent cost of that sweater, you could have the culinary experience of a lifetime: the Kobe beef experience.

‘Kobe beef’ are cuts of fatty, marbled meat from the Tajima strain of wagyu cattle that are known for its flavor, tenderness and its considerable fat marbling. As the name discernibly indicates, the cattle are raised in Kobe and the wider Hyogo Prefecture area. Cattle were originally introduced to Japan during the mechanization of the cultivation of rice, a widely known staple food in the Japanese diet. Interestingly enough, the practice of fattening then slaughtering these animals was an unpremeditated carryover of this mechanization, and an effort to increase a predominantly Japanese source of sustenance paved way for the introduction of this primarily Western provision.

Now onto the meat of the matter: what is it that makes Kobe beef distinctive and remarkable in comparison to other cuts of beef?

For starters, I can guarantee that with one mouthful of this prized delicacy, the question posed above need not be explained in words. With a minimum fat marbling ratio of 6 or above, the meat will dissolve in your mouth and intoxicate your palate, while the distinctive quality of Kobe beef will firmly forever fasten in your memory.

Next on the menu: what about the rumors of the ritzy lifestyle of these cattle that supposedly incorporates beer, massages, and classical music in the breeding procedure for the cattle? Although these are all a feasible set of rearing practices considering the Japanese penchant for ‘kodawari’ or ‘particularity’, they are all myths that have been falsely disseminated from origins unknown. In spite of this, Kobe beef is itself worthy of being chronicled as legendary. These cattle nevertheless are still raised in special environments to ensure they meet the selective criterion and classifications required for special certification. In fact, it is so selective to the extent that not all Kobe cattle that are raised are selected for slaughter.

While Kobe beef can found at upscale department stores throughout Hyogo Prefecture for home preparation, the sorcery of Kobe Beef preparation is best left to the culinary wizards. The diversity and delicacy of the presentation of dishes that these masters materialize is in it of itself enough to be blown away by. Beef sashimi and sushi, beef tempura and teppanyaki-style are all popular forms of preparation you will likely feast on. Professional chef or amateur, one should always be incredibly attentive so that your meat does not vanish, which could indeed happen due to the lower melting point of Kobe beef compared to other meats.

As for those restaurants outside of the archipelago that claim to serve up ‘Kobe’ beef, it’s safe to presume that they are dishing out lies. While many restaurants claim to serve ‘Kobe beef’, an extensive body of evidence authenticates that there is no way this is possible. The meat served likely is domestic raised wagyu cattle that has been crossed with standard Angus cattle. Even imported Japanese, non-Kobe beef is scant in the US market nowadays. The USDA has up to this date, not approved any of the ‘Kobe cattle’ slaughterhouses, and according to the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Association, Macao is presently the only legal export market.

In light of this, a Kobe beef experience will for the present moment be one that can only be relished while in Japan so if you find yourself in Japan, a quick stopover to Kobe is greatly suggested.

 
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Recent Tour Reviews in Kobe

“ Great taste of a guides hometown. ”

Excellent
7 months ago Traveler: David -   Tour Guide: Aimu

We loved spending the day in Kobe to learn about Aimu’s hometown of Kobe. Aimu is a great communicator and was great and being flexible in combining her local knowledge with our tastes and interests.
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“ Perfect afternoon in Kobe! ”

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8 months ago Traveler: Shannon -   Tour Guide: Yoshihisa

We had some trouble finding Yoshie to begin with, but we quickly made up for lost time and after that it was a great experience! With his insider knowledge we had a really smooth trip and learned a lot, and he saved me a lot of trouble in trying to find my way around sale breweries in an unfamiliar city. He managed to find us the best steak we've ever had too! I'd highly recommend Yoshie :)
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“ Great Osaka and Kobe Guide ”

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9 months ago Traveler: Venny -   Tour Guide: Mari

Mari is extremely efficient in her planning. She showed us around Kobe and Osaka and showed extensive knowledge of the places she took us. She is extremely well organized. Highly recommend her
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“ Excellent guide! ”

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10 months ago Traveler: LAVINIA -   Tour Guide: Yoshihisa

It was a pleasure to be guided from Yoshi-san!He have a lot of knowlige about all the places we discoverd with his help.Yoshi-san is very friendly and helpful-had 2 very pleasent days with him! I had some personal problem(broken tooth)-Yoshi-san helpt finding a doctor and I solved the problem in a hour!-without dear Yoshi san ,never could resolve allone. Yoshi san,thank you a lot for your kindf...
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“ Excellent Guide ”

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10 months ago Traveler: Zachary -   Tour Guide: CHUJI

Chuji is a very dedicated guide, he is very communicative, plans throughly and professionally, and does a great job!
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10 months ago Traveler: Pauline -   Tour Guide: CHUJI

Chuji was a wonderful guide. He had lots of information to share with us. His English is excellent. We enjoyed all of the sites that he took us to. The itinerary was well planned and flawlessly executed. Thank you, Chuji for a great day!
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“ Fantastic local guide in Kobe ”

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11 months ago Traveler: Suzanne -   Tour Guide: CHUJI

We were delayed getting off our cruise in the Port of Kobe and Chuji was patiently waiting for us. He was very knowledgeable of the area and sights that we saw. We covered a lot of ground and moved quickly because of the delay in getting off the ship. He was also willing to adapt our pre arranged schedule to help us find a shop that sold good quality knives at reasonable prices. We enjoyed our tim...
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“ 1 Day KOBE and OSAKA ”

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11 months ago Traveler: Bernd -   Tour Guide: Mari

Maria prepared our tour perfectly in Advance, so we had a very interesting full Day visiting both towns. Mari spoke perfect english and she organised a very comfortable Car and Driver. All in all a 5* service.
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“ Very good and thorough guide ”

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1 year ago Traveler: Bob -   Tour Guide: KASHIMA

Totally competent caring for our group. Got us through the day with ease. English was frequently difficult to understand, though. Very good skills getting us through all our train and bus changes. Did not, though, keep us together through the Himeji castle, nor give us any education while inside.
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