News from JNTO

Wagyu - Japanese Beef


Japanese summers are often hot and humid. In such weather, it’s easy to lose your appetite, a condition known as "natsu bate" - summer fatigue. That's why so much of Japanese summer cuisine is designed to coax the appetite of even the most reluctant diner. Some of the best Japanese summer dishes feature wagyu, Japanese beef.

Imagine, if you will, slices of exquisitely marbled beef laid carefully on a grill over dancing flames. Give them a brief grilling over the charcoal, then a quick splash in BBQ sauce. The tender meat will melt in your mouth. No matter how hot and humid the weather, few can resist this treat. Of course, there are other ways to enjoy wagyu, like sukiyaki or shabu shabu, traditional Japanese hotpot dishes, or even comforting home-style dishes like nikujaga, beef with potatoes.


Nikujaga   Sukiyaki


Such tasty beef does not come from just any cow. Wagyu are pedigreed animals with family trees that go back generations. This pedigree system ensures not just high quality and good taste, but safety as well. Every cow is meticulously documented with an I.D. that remains with the cow from birth until after processing--one might say from stable to table. The wagyu mark is proof of it being authentic domestic Japanese beef. It ensures the wagyu comes from verified trusted producers, has been strictly graded and has the highest level of traceability. You can be assured of safety and good taste in every bite.

What makes wagyu special? Wagyu are Japanese breeds of cows, mostly Japanese Black. They are fed a special diet of healthy grains and rice straw. But it seems that even cows can lose their appetites in the summer, and so they are fed beer and sake to induce them to eat during the summer months. The cows also receive massages to relieve muscle stress.

Not only is wagyu is known for its distinctive "shimofuri" high quality fat marbling which makes every bite marvelously flavorful, tender and juicy, wagyu also has a higher omega 3 and omega 6 content than normal beef. Notably famous brands are Kobe, Matsuzaka, Omi and Yonezawa.

So the next time you feel in need of a stamina boost this summer, think of enjoying some wagyu. Your body—and your mouth---will thank you.

For more information on Wagyu cuisine, visit here.

Information is provided as a courtesy to users of this website. Though the JNTO endeavors to ensure the information is accurate, users of the information are to act on such using their own judgement and at their own risk. Neither the JNTO nor any holder of copyright to the information shall be held responsible in any way whatsoever for any loss or misunderstanding, either direct or indirect, that is incurred as a result of utilizing the information.

Japan Highlight



Fantastic insight into Japan's diverse history.



Satisfy the most discerning of palettes, as well as the strictest of budgets.

Pop Culture

Pop Culture

Explore everything Japanese pop culture has to offer.

Modern Art

Modern Art

Visualize Japan's treasured heritage and its cutting-edge future.

Ski in Japan

Ski in Japan

A diamond in the rough for ski enthusiasts and families worldwide.



Breathtaking cruises around Japan.


Affordable Tips

Make a trip to Japan enjoyable and affordable.


go: Tohoku

Experience the treasures of Northern Japan.


Discover the Undiscovered

Explore the undiscovered region in 7 days.


The Heart of Hokkaido

Discover the wild charms of Japan’s northern frontier.


For First Time Travelers

Explore Japan's Iconic Destinations.