A wide assortment of Wagyu brands are raised in regions all over Japan, creating a delicious selection of Wagyu beef from various areas. Below is information on particularly noteworthy Wagyu brands from ten regions.
Japan top three Wagyu
The “Japan top three Wagyu” title refers to Matsusaka Ushi, Kobe Beef, and Ohmi Beef cattle raised in the Kansai region of Japan. All three of these Wagyu types start out as Tajima Beef cattle born in Hyogo Prefecture, but are taken in as calves by commercial cattle farmers in other regions. They take on the names of Matsusaka Ushi, Kobe Beef, or Ohmi Beef depending on the region of the commercial cattle farm where they are raised.
This is a brand of Wagyu raised in and around Matsusaka City in Mie Prefecture. Only cows that haven’t given birth can be Matsusaka Wagyu. Because the marbling starts melting immediately even at around human body temperature, a mellow flavor is set alive with the start of every bite. The cows are fed beer to increase their appetites and raised with intense care, sometimes even receiving individual massages.
Matsusaka Ushi Kyogikai (Matsusaka Cattle Council) (Japanese)
This is a brand of Wagyu raised with care by commercial cattle farmers in the Kobe City area of Hyogo Prefecture. The cattle grow up on selected rice plants and corn as well as clear water. The meat is known for its refined, rich sweetness and unique aroma. Currently, it is not being exported, but is well known outside of Japan. The story about President Obama saying that he wants to eat Kobe Beef when he came to Japan is well known.
Kobe Beef Kobe Beef Marketing & Distribution Promotion Association (English)
This is a brand of Wagyu raised in Shiga Prefecture. The cattle are raised with extreme care in an environment surrounded by bountiful nature and water. In addition to having a very fine meat grain, this meat is distinctive from other types as the only kind to have fat with viscosity. It is known that, in the Edo era before meat eating became common in Japan, miso marinated Ohmi Beef was presented to the shogun as a medicinal cure.
“Ohmi Beef” Seisan/Ryutsu Suishin Kyogikai (Production & Distribution Promotion Council) (Japanese)
Iwate Japanese Shorthorn
This is a brand of Wagyu born and raised in Iwate Prefecture. Most Wagyu belong to the Japanese Black class, but the Iwate Japanese Shorthorn is a rare exception that has a reddish-brown coat. They grow up in a relaxed environment amidst the great outdoors, grazing on grasses that are not treated with agricultural chemicals. They yield a healthy beef high in red muscle with a low fat content. The meat is packed with delicious flavor, presenting a chance to enjoy the exquisite natural flavor of beef.
Iwategyu What is Iwate Japanese Shorthorn? (Japanese)
This is a brand of Wagyu born and raised in Yamagata Prefecture. A climate that experiences extremes between hot and cold, as is characteristic of a basin environment, and the fertile soil surrounding the Mogami River produce a bounty of grain and the perfect conditions for cattle to thrive. The distinctive feature of the beef is a high level of fat. A melt-in-your-mouth texture is coupled with a rich sweetness. “Ekiben” (a type of portable meal sold inside of a train) with Yonezawagyu beef on a bed of rice are also very popular.
Yonezawagyu Meigara Suishin Kyogikai (Yonezawa Beef Name Promotion Council) (Japanese)
This is a brand of Wagyu born and raised in Ibaraki Prefecture, which has been a grain growing region from days of old. The cattle are fed strictly selected feed and raised by hand, giving the beef a superbly balance marbling. The beef characteristic is a fine meat grain and tenderness.
JA Zen-Noh Ibaraki Hitachigyu (Japanese)
This is a brand of Wagyu born and raised in Chiba Prefecture, which has a long dairy farming history. The water in this region is rich in iodine, giving it an extremely high quality. The beef has a light marbling for a flavor that never gets old. It gives you the perfect opportunity to sample a fresh, delicious flavor.
Kazusa Wagyu official site (Japanese)
This is a brand of Wagyu born and raised in Kyoto Prefecture, which has a history of beef culture with examples like miso marinated beef being served since the Edo era. Cattle raised with loving care amidst the great outdoors of the countryside gives beef with a mellow flavor and aroma. The city of Kyoto features numerous restaurants that serve delicious Kyoto Beef in a traditional Japanese environment. Enjoy ingredients available only in this region in a relaxed environment, amidst delectable ambiance.
Kyoto Prefecture Burando Chikusanbutsu (Brand Livestock) Kyoto Beef (Japanese)
Miyazaki Prefecture is the 2nd largest producer of Japanese Black, and only the highest quality cattle from this region can be dubbed “Miyazakigyu.” In 2007, this class of cow boasted the “Champion Cow” of the “Wagyu Olympics,” and the fame is gradually gaining momentum. Its beautiful color is one of its attractive factors. In official sumo, it is custom to present the champion sumo wrestler with one Miyazaki cow.
Yori Yoki Miyazakigyu Dzukuri Taisaku Kyogikai (Council on Measures for Better Miyazakigyu) (Japanese)
This type of Wagyu comes from the breed called the Japanese Brown, which is rare for Wagyu. The cattle are born and raised in Kumamoto Prefecture, an area abundant in greenery and water. Its lack of excess fat makes it very healthy, but it still retains a high level of tenderness and a mellow flavor. It is absolutely wonderful served up as roast beef with the exquisite flavor of the red meaty portion.
JA Kumamoto to Niku Meigara Suishin Kyogikai (JA Kumamoto and Meat Name Promotion Council) Kumamoto AKAUSHI (Japanese)