People worldwide know the Japanese cuisine for their delicious ramen, sushi, nabe, onigiri, tofu and more. However, there is another lesser known dish that is becoming more popular, namely Wagyu beef. “Wa” could be translated as “Japanese” and “gyu” as beef. Thus, “wagyu beef” means “Japanese beef”. Technically speaking, there are many “Japanese” beefs in Japan but there are just four Wagyu beef breeds. These are: “Kuroge” (Japanese Black), “Akage” (Japanese Brown), “Nihon Tankaku” (Japanese Shorthorn) and “Mukaku” (Japanese Polled). Among the four breeds, it is the Kuroge that makes up most of the fattened cattle in Japan: around 95%. Before diving into where you can find Wagyu in Japan, let’s get some more information on what is also known as the most expensive beef in the world. After, you’ll be dying to visit one of the places on our top 10 Delicious Wagyu Beef Steaks Available in Japan.
Although originating in Japan, Wagyu beef can be found in other places such as Australia, the United States, Canada, and the UK. Like other premium dishes, you can classify Wagyu by its brand and grade. The brand indicates where the beef comes from, the most famous being “Kobe”, “Matsusaka” and “Ohmi”. The grade is formed by a letter (which goes from A to C) and a number (which goes from 1 to 5). The letter shows how much meat a cows offer. The number shows how high-quality the meat is, based on different aspects such as marbling, firmness, texture, etc. For instance, A5 would be the most expensive and highest quality Wagyu beef. Therefore, with these facts in mind, let’s take a look at the Top 10 Delicious Wagyu Beef Steaks Available in Japan.
Table of Contents
1) Top 10: Steak Aoyama
2) Top 10: Gion Mikaku
3) Top 10: Wagyu Restaurant Hachi
4) Top 10: Kobe Steak Restaurant Royal Mouriya
5) Top 10: Steak and Grill Meriken Hatoba
6) Top 10: Kobe Steak Ishida Osaka
7) Top 10: Steak Misono Osaka
8) Top 10: Teppanyaki and Steak Tarond
9) Top 10: Kobe Beef Kaiseki 511
10) Top 10: Teppanyaki Steak Pandora
Wagyu Beef Steak #10: Steak Aoyama
Website: Steak Aoyama
First, we start off our top 10 delicious Wagyu beef steak available in Japan with Steak Aoyama, which is in Kobe. As mentioned above, other than a city name, “Kobe” is also one of the three most famous brands of Wagyu beef. At Steak Aoyama, they serve high-quality Kobe beef to please customers from all over the world. Opening in 1963, the same family is still operating the restaurant.They can speak English and are always willing to share stories with their guests.
However, pre-booking is a must in this cozy restaurant of only 8 seats. While they have many options within their menu, the star of the restaurant is “the Aoyama Steak Course” for ¥ 6500. This includes an appetizer, soups, 130 g of sirloin/filet steak, the famous dipping ponzu sauce, and dessert.
Wagyu Beef Steak #9: Gion Mikaku
Website: Gion Mikaku
Next on this list of the top 10 Delicious Wagyu Beef Steaks Available in Japan, we have Gion Mikaku. From Kobe we move to a city known for its temples and Geishas: Kyoto. Located in the famous neighbourhood of Gion, next to the Shirakawa river, the restaurant was opened in 1929. Ever since the beginning, they kept the restaurant within a fixed guideline: a small family teppanyaki business. Within their Wagyu beef choices, they provide Kobe, Tanba and Sanda beef. Quality-wise, they use A4 and A5 Wagyu beef.
They do not have a large menu, which actually helps run the business in a smoother, more efficient way. When it comes to steak, they offer two courses: Teppanyaki Steak Course Tenderloin (150 g) for ¥ 18500 and Teppanyaki Steak Course Sirloin (200 g) for ¥ 24000. While some might feel that the prices are a little high, this is due to the superb quality of the food. You need to book in advance, seeing as this place serves high-quality food in an excellent location
Wagyu Beef Steak #8: Wagyu Restaurant Hachi
Website: Wagyu Restaurant Hachi
Next up, we have Wagyu Restaurant Hachi, which is at the end of a small and quiet road in Minato-ku, Tokyo. But this isn’t just a random location.They want people to enjoy A5 Kuroge Wagyu beef in a quiet and relaxing environment. Their efforts paid off and as of now, they are known as the “Western meat food bar”. Accommodation-wise, Hachi offers 6 counter seats, as well as large table seats. Thus, whether you are looking to celebrate a private party, a business meeting, or just a friend’s visit, this is your place.
Even though they have English menu options, unless requested in advance, there might not be English-speaking staff. All in all, their steak menu is not very complex. Consequently, you’ll be just fine even if your Japanese skills are not the best. You can have your A5 Kuroge Wagyu beef steak as a sirloin, filet, or in a burger. Prices range from ¥ 4000 to ¥ 8000.
Wagyu Beef Steak #7: Kobe Steak Restaurant Royal Mouriya
Website: Kobe Steak Restaurant Royal Mouriya
Next on our top 10 Delicious Wagyu Beef Steaks Available in Japan is Kobe Steak Restaurant Royal Mouriya. Located in the city of Kobe and with 130 years of experience, this high-class restaurant offers the best Kobe beef. It has three private rooms available for parties of 3 to 15 people each. In addition, they have a French-inspired design, with more than 100 wine selections, so you are sure to find the right one for your steak.
Their motto is “the time at Mouriya will give you the energy for tomorrow” and after checking their menu, you will realize they are not bluffing. You can choose from various cuts of meats such as filet, sirloin, rib eye and rump. When it comes to quality and price, you can choose either the best of the best (A5) or something slightly lower. Just to give you an idea, 170 g of A5 sirloin steak will cost you ¥ 16800, while 150 g of rump steak will go down to ¥ 7500.
Wagyu Beef Steak #6: Steak and Grill Meriken Hatoba
Website: Steak and Grill Meriken Hatoba
Steak and Grill Meriken Hatoba is located in Kobe’s Chinatown, next to the wharf. This restaurant, in comparison to the two previous restaurants, is fairly new, opening in 2013. Therefore, some may think this would hinder the ability to attract customers, especially considering that just two people run this delicious spot. But this is not the case. Due to this being one of the highest rated Kobe restaurants on TripAdvisor, a reservation here is a must!
Their lunch menu offers Kobe beef at quite a reasonable price (¥ 5000 – ¥ 9000), making it super crowded with visitors from Japan and overseas. Dinner choices are a little bit pricier (¥ 6000 – ¥ 10000) but still pretty average in comparison to other nearby restaurants. The restaurant boasts a friendly and relaxed atmosphere with English-speaking staff. A5 Kobe beef is available on the menu.
Wagyu Beef Steak #5: Kobe Steak Ishida Osaka
Website: Kobe Steak Ishida Osaka
From Kobe we move to Osaka. Likewise, we are keeping focus on restaurants offering Kobe beef. Opening its doors in November 2019, Kobe Steak Ishida Osaka can be found at the Umeda prime-location “Links Umeda”. Similar to the previous restaurants, Ishida has the highest standards and obtains only authentic and pure Kobe beef. It can accommodate up to 26 people and provides private rooms and counter seating. If you opt for the second one, you will enjoy your meal at a teppanyaki-style counter, sitting in front of the chefs. As a result of the restaurant’s popularity, we advise pre-booking.
The star choice of Kobe Steak Ishida Osaka is the “Choice Kobe Beef Course”. It includes an appetizer, soup, salad and an A5 tenderloin or sirloin Kobe beef steak. Prices vary depending on weight: the cheapest dish costs ¥ 16000 and the most expensive one ¥ 24000. Lunch prices range from ¥ 5000 to ¥ 10000.
Wagyu Beef Steak #4: Steak Misono Osaka
Website: Steak Misono Osaka
Claiming to be the originator of “Teppanyaki Steak”, they opened the first restaurant in Osaka in Minami, back in 1962. Some years later, in 1982, they opened the one that gives name to the #6 of our top 10 delicious Wagyu beef steak available in Japan. Ever since the beginning, they decided to rely on natural ingredients, as opposed to chemical seasonings.
Steak Misono Osaka goes a little bit further when selecting their Wagyu beef. However, they have their own standards besides the general rank, which leads to a mouth-watering menu. A5 is almost a constant, with the cheapest dish at ¥ 8000 and the most expensive one at ¥ 36000. The sake quality matches that of their Wagyu beef . Also, they provide “Fukuju”, a sake with more than 260 years of history which happened to be the one served at the 2012 Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm.
Wagyu Beef Steak #3: Teppanyaki and Steak Tarond
Website: Teppanyaki and Steak Tarond
We travel back to Tokyo and we’ll remain there until the end of our top 10 delicious Wagyu beef available in Japan. Located on a backstreet in Kagurazaka, Teppanyaki and Steak Tarond is lauded by critics. Masatoshi Nakamura, the owner and chef, opened his venue in 2011. Like many other restaurants, Nakamura makes use of the teppanyaki. There is a subtle difference in his technique though: oil is not used when cooking meat. Though this can be surprising for some, as a result, it is also what appears to be the secret behind pulling out all the natural flavors of the meat.
In the aforementioned restaurants, Kobe beef was the constant. In Tarond, there is both Kobe and Matsusaka beef. A5 Wagyu beef can be found in different sections of the menu and prices range from ¥ 5000 to ¥ 15000. The restaurant has 8 counter seats and 8 table seats. Furthermore, a sommelier is available to help you choose the right wine or sake for your Wagyu beef.
Wagyu Beef Steak #2: Kobe Beef Kaiseki 511
Website: Kobe Beef Kaiseki 511
Kobe Beef Kaiseki 511 is located in Akasaka, one of the major business districts in Tokyo. Private meals and business meetings can be enjoyed in this stylish restaurant. The name 511 stands for A5 Wagyu beef with a marbling standard value of 11. Remember how we mentioned marbling as one of the key aspects to define the grade of the Wagyu beef? With 12 being the maximum value of marbling, can you guess what to expect when coming to Kobe Beef Kaiseki 511?
A5 can be found in different sections of the menu. Like always, prices vary depending on quality and quantity. The Kobe Beef Steak Course is available for ¥ 14000. If there is something that stands out at this restaurant (other than its high quality food), it is its hearth oven. Unlike the teppanyaki, it can reach temperatures of 1000°C, giving the meat a perfect cooking balance.
Wagyu Beef Steak #1: Teppanyaki Steak Pandora
Website: Teppanyaki Steak Pandora
Last, we have Teppanyaki Steak Pandora, which has been indulging its customers ever since it opened in 1972. Located in Tokyo, they claim they have kept the same old taste and price, which is one of the reasons why it occupies the first position in our top 10 delicious Wagyu beef steaks available in Japan. The teppanyaki is surrounded by counter and casual comfortable seats, making it ideal for meetings and casual events.
Pandora mainly deals with A3 to A5 grade, where customers can enjoy the best, but not necessarily the most expensive Wagyu beef. For example, you can get an A5 200g of Wagyu beef for ¥ 14000, an A3 steak set meal for ¥ 7000, or a Matsusaka sirloin set for two people for ¥ 29000. As you can see, there are options to suit everybody’s budget.
Wagyu beef is not new in Japan. Some of the aforementioned restaurants have been pleasing customers with the best beef in the world for many decades. With that being said, it is becoming more and more popular with those traveling to Japan. While ramen, sushi, soba and other famous dishes are still in high demand, little by little, many people are making their debut in the Wagyu beef world. Some decide to try it just once out of curiosity. But many decide to make the Kobe, Matsusaka and Ohmi beef steak their new favorite dish.
All in all, considering the love for meat in Japan, it is safe to say that Wagyu beef will be a popular business for quite some time. While steak is not the only way in which one can enjoy “the most expensive beef in the world”, it is by far the most common. After reading this blog, you should be in a good position to decide what restaurant to visit, depending on how much you are willing to spend, and where you are. Because, let’s be honest: prices are high. But, at the same time, most of the people who decide to go to a Wagyu beef restaurant in Japan already know what they are going for: a piece of paradise in their mouths.