Kobe Beef is famous world-wide. However, there are not many people who know its history and why it has become so famous. In this article, in addition to those facts, we will give you a list of 2 exclusive restaurants to savor Kobe Beef!

How Kobe Beef was born

As an international port, Kobe Port opened its door to overseas in 1868. In fact in 2017, it celebrated its 150 years anniversary. It is said that the person who ate Kobe Beef for the first time around the time the port was opened was a British person. Back then, meat was not a part of Japanese food culture yet.

The taste of handed-down Tajima Cattle, which was a species used to help farmers (more information later) became so popular. It is said that the first governor of Hyogo Prefecture, Hirofumi Ito was a fan of the taste. In addition, the former President of the U.S, Mr. Obama made a request to try Kobe Beef when he visited Japan in 2009 too. Not only in Japan, but across the world, the taste of Kobe Beef continues to attract people.

Kobe Beef = Elite of Tajima Cattle!

“Tajima Cattle” that was mentioned earlier has a very close inseparable relationship with Kobe Beef. That is, Kobe Beef that we know refers to “selected” Tajima Cattle that meet a certain criteria standard.

To begin with, Tajima Cattle live in Tajima region in the Northern part of Hyogo Prefecture. This is an area that faces the Sea of Japan and does not have much of flat land. Originally, the cattle were kept as “work cattle” for rice fields farming and transportation. However, when a new custom of eating beef was born around the Meiji (1868-1912) period, Tajima Cattle became famous for its excellent nature. To maintain its pure blood, for example, mating is conducted only between the same species. Through such improvements, Tajima Beef has developed as a major beef brand. That is why it has a reputation as the top of the top Japanese black beef among the existing original species.

That said, the criteria for certification to call itself “Kobe Beef” are very strict. It has to be meat of Tajima Cattle that were born and raised in Hyogo Prefecture over generations, meet the level of marbling ranked precisely, and has to meet a weight limit. Every year, nearly 3,000 cattle are certified and that consists of about 50 to 60% of all Tajima Cattle raised in the prefecture. In fact, that is only 0.6% of all Japanese black beef. So that’s why Kobe Beef is said to be the elite of Tajima Cattle.

Two Restaurants with delicious Kobe Beef

Now that you know a lot about Kobe Beef, you may be wondering “so where can I eat the delicious Kobe Beef anyway?” We were able to pick 2 must-go restaurants thanks to information network of “Chikyu no Arukikata”; a famous travel guidebook in Japan that we collaborate with to edit information on our website.

◎Steak shop with profound grand atmosphere 『Beef Steak Kawamura Sannomiya Main Restaurant』

『Beef Steak Kawamura』has 6 in Hyogo and 2 more locations outside the prefecture. They are dedicated to only purchasing the champion and a few other first-prize awarded cattle at the “Kobe Niku Edaniku Kyoureikai (competitive exhibition of Kobe Beef)”and serving this specific meat to their customers. It is great that they grill meat on an iron plate right in front of us. With the grand atmosphere of brick interior, the meat looks even more delicious. Each restaurant has their own menu, and at this main restaurant, they offer a variety of courses including Kobe Beef Course, Kobe Beef & Seafood Course etc. They also have a great lineup for lunch such as Exclusive Kobe Beef lunch, Excellent Prize Beef lunch etc.

Address1st floor Nouva Spirit, 4-5-13 Kano-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe City, Hyogo

◎『Kobe Beef Dining Mouriya』

『Mouriya』is a long established restaurant of Kobe Beef with 130 years of history. They have 5 locations in Hyogo. To seek for the finest fine “Kobe Beef”, they actually determine if the meat is worth the brand name with their own eyes. That is why they are confident of what they offer. Each restaurant has its own taste, and at 『Dining』, on top of steaks, they also offer casual dishes such as hamburg steak, stew and Mouriya original Yakiniku-ju. On top of that, another attractive point of the main location is its casual atmosphere. Equipped with sofa tables, the restaurant is a great place for families with children too.

AddressKobe City, Chuo-ku Northern long narrow 9-8 Queen's Coast Building 2F, Hyogo Prefecture