What is Wagyu Beef? -Japanese Cuisine at Ryokan-

What is “Wagyu beef”?

Have you ever tried “Wagyu beef”?

In these days, you can eat “WAGYU” many parts of the world.
The name of the “WAGYU” originates from Japan. However, “WAGYU” which you know might be not purebred Japanese cattle. It is because Australian “WAGYU” has been taken the beef market by storm and almost all Australian “WAGYU” is crossbred cattle and not purebred Japanese cattle.

Wagyu in Japan indicates only the native species cattle (purebred Japanese cattle). It is branded beef, bred and fattened according to Japanese original standards.

There are 4 types of domestic cattle.

1. Japanese Black
2. Japanese Red
3. Japanese Shorthorn
4. Japanese Polled

Japanese Black is the most famous and the finest quality cattle among these, and it has bred all over Japan. Nowadays, there are about 320 kinds of Japanese Black premium branded beef.
For example, Matsuzakagyu(松坂牛), Kobegyu(神戸牛), Oumigyu(近江牛) are the three major Japanese beef brands.

Joshu Wagyu (上州和牛)

 ”Joshu Wagyu(上州和牛)” is one of the kinds of Japanese Black premium brand which you can find in Gunma prefecture.
The features of Joshu Wagyu are as follows:
(Quoted from Gunma Prefecture Agricultural and Livestock Products Export Promotion Organization)


Wagyu beef from Gunma Prefecture has been widely recognized for its top quality made possible by the natural environment supported by the clear water of the Tone River. It is now sold worldwide, including countries in the EU, the US and Singapore. Especially noteworthy is Joshu Wagyu, which was the first Japan-raised Wagyu beef exported to the EU in 2014 where conditions and regulations are especially strict.

Wagyu from Gunma features a delicate aroma of fat attributed to the abundant, clear water source in the region. The texture of the flesh is uniform and the fat is highly integrated into the meat, creating harmony in a variety of dishes.
Under strict hygienic conditions, the beef is carefully and efficiently hand-cut by skilled artisans and easy-to-use portions are delivered to consumers.

Our Kashiwaya Ryokan provide “Joshu beef” and “Joshu Wagyu” for the main dish.

Joshu Wagyu

Joshu beef and Joshu Wagyu are not the same beef even though they are both bred cattle in Gunma.
“Joshu beef” is crossbred cattle, so it is not purebred Japanese Black.
However, it is still high-quality beef.

In my biased opinion, even though Joshu Wagyu is not famous as other major Japanese brands (such as Matsuzakagyu, Kobegyu, and Oumigyu), Joshu Wagyu is as great as other Wagyu.
I was actually so impressed by Joshu Wagyu when I tried it for the first time.

Plan list of meals at Kashiwaya Ryokan

Wagyu (highest grade beef)

 Main dish for this plan is “Joshu Wagyu”(上州和牛)

We will serve this special beef as stone grilled steak, and we highly recommend this meal plan.

Joshu Wagyu steak

Other than Joshu Wagyu, there will be traditional Japanese multi-course dishes (we call it “Kaiseki Cuisine”) such as appetizer, sashimi, small dish, simmered dish, grilled dish. And of course, there will be rice and soup, and dessert coming up last.

*Please note that the minimum serve for this plan is two. If you are a solo traveler, you are not able to choose this plan.

Reservation for Wagyu (highest grade beef) plan

Standard meal

 Main dish for this plan is “Joshu beef”

It is not the highest grade beef, but it is still locally grown beef and high quality. Other than main dish, rest of the meals of this plan is same as Wagyu plan meals (written above).

 *Available for solo traveler

Reservation for Standard meal plan

Light meal

 Main dish is not included.

If you have a small appetite, we recommend that you choose traditional Japanese multi-course dishes without main dish.

 * Available for solo traveler

Reservation for Light meal plan

Vegan meal

There is Vegan option at Kashiwaya Ryokan.

We will serve vegan diet (no dairy, eggs, or any other products of animal origin) as style of traditional Japanese multi-course dishes.

*Please note that the minimum serve for this plan is two. If you are a solo traveler, you are not able to choose this plan.

Reservation for Vegan meal plan