Updated: Sep 29, 2018
People in the U.S. may occasionally see the word “wagyu” at specialty restaurants where high end Japanese beef is served. The word “wagyu” (Japanese cattle) is used differently in Japan. While you will see “wagyu” printed on labels of pre-sliced beef packages in the supermarket, you don’t see this term at fancy restaurants. In Japan, these types of eateries further categorize wagyu by the regions where these cows were raised - Matsusaka, Kobe, Yonezawa, Omi, to name a few.
During my last visit to Japan, I was determined to try as many different wagyu beefs as possible. I knew the famous regions like Matsusaka or Kobe beef were amazing, but I was thinking, “how about less well known local wagyu?” And could I try all these varieties without bankrupting my budget?!
I’ve tried Wagyu in Sado Island, Suzu, Wajima, Yamagata, and Yonezawa. I loved Sado wagyu. It was juicy, tender, and bursting with incredible flavor! Suzu and Wajima were also extremely good, but it’s not fair to compare with Sado wagyu I had since I had them as a casual “Rice and Beef” bowls. But even so, they were wonderful!
If you’re a wagyu beef lover, you should travel around the different wagyu regions and try the many local varieties. The choices are nearly endless!