You have your first trip to Japan and people keeps recommend you to try horse meat when coming to Kumamoto, you know because it’s already too obvious and popular, but to try beef when coming to Yamagata? No more confusion, these reasons below will sure cheer you up!

Why Yamagata Beef is so good? What’s more?

Besides cold noodles and sake, Yamagata also popular for its high-quality beef. It is counted as 3 best beef in Japan, with Matsuzaka beef and Kobe beef. Has a four separately seasons, extremely hot summer and very cold weather, creates a wide range in temperature between day and night, Yamagata is the best beef production area, since this climate is the best climate to produce delicious beef. 

Yamagata farmers also have the top-class of feeding, raising cattle skill in Japan. A long-term fattening method for over 32 months is used, which the farmers will feed the cow with rice straw from the mineral-rich earth of Yamagata. With such advantages from the skill as well as the climate, delicious beef can be produced among this traditional rich nature. Many delicious dishes are made from beef, can be provided by Yamagata’s farmers throughout the year, such as ‘sukiyaki’ or ‘yakiniku’.  “Ekiben” (bento sold at stations) with Yonezawagyu beef on a bed of rice are also very popular.

Sukiyaki is a hotpot dish

Sukiyaki is a hotpot dish. From Wikipedia

Thanks to the richness of the ingredients, Yamagata residents also achieved high level of cooking cuisine, they know how to brown the surface of the beef slightly while keeping inside still rare, so you can enjoy both the crispy surface and tastiness inside. So you can enjoy the best of the sukiyaki, gyudon, or yakiniku more than anywhere else! The distinctive feature of the beef is a high level of fat brings a melt-in-your-mouth texture goes with sweetness when grilled. 

Fresh Yonezawa beef

Fresh Yonezawa beef. From Wikipedia

You can enjoy Yonezawa beef in style

Particularly is in a reconstructed old Japanese-style restaurant in front of Yonezawa Station, called Yonezawa Beef Dining Bekoya. The menu features steak, grilled, sukiyaki and shabu-shabu. Especially, grilled beef is grilled right in front of you, by teppan-yaki plate, so you can watch the chef’s techniques while enjoying delicious Yonezawa beef, or you can also cook yourself!

Yonezawa Beef Dining Bekoya

3-2-34 Higashi, Yonezawa-shi, Yamagata-ken.
2mins walk from Yonezawa Station


Lunch – 11:15 am to 2:30 pm (open to 2:00 pm on weekends and holidays)
Dinner – 5:00 to 9:30 pm

Yonezawa Beef Filet Steak 100 g (set) 7,500 yen
Lean Yonezawa Beef Sukiyaki (set 130 g) 4,200 yen

(Japanese only)

The beef of Yamagata so famous it has its own brand name called Yonezawagyu and it even has its own website, so I bet you should check out this delicious beef to see why!

Thumbnail image is from Wikipedia