Sinking my teeth into a tender morsel of Kobe beef has been on my Japan bucket list for as long as I can remember. And I finally got my chance at Steakland Kobe in Japan.
Trying Kobe beef has long been on my Japan bucket list
My obsession with Kobe beef started when I read a somewhat unbelievable story about cows that are fed beer, massaged for hours and listen to classical music. All in the quest for the highest quality, stress-free meat possible.
So as soon as we’d booked our tickets to Kyoto, I knew that a little side trip to eat cheap Kobe beef in Kobe had to happen, so I could finally experience it all, live and in person.
In this guide
- 1 Where to Eat Cheap Kobe beef in Kobe
- 2 What’s the Difference between Wagyu and Kobe Beef
- 2.1 Japan Travel Essentials
- 3 Steakland Kobe | The Experience
- 4 Steakland Kobe Menu Prices
- 5 Getting to Sannomiya in Kobe
- 5.1 Steakland Kobe: Essential Info and FAQs
Where to Eat Cheap Kobe beef in Kobe
Kobe beef is the most rare and most expensive beef in the world. The odds that you’ve actually had the real thing anywhere else in the world are slim to none. The ubiquitous “Kobe beef sliders,” 3 for $30 at the local pub? Sorry to disappoint you, but most definitely not the real thing.
The best place to have authentic, affordable Kobe beef is in Kobe (it still won’t be cheap but much cheaper than anywhere else)
It’s not just because it was illegal to import Japanese beef into America and other countries for many years, due to concerns around mad cow disease, but also because there’s a very limited supply of Kobe beef produced PERIOD.
Truly, the best place to eat cheap Kobe beef and trust that it’s actually Kobe beef is at its source, in Kobe, Japan. You can find Kobe beef in other cities in Japan and around the world now, but it won’t be as affordable as it is in Kobe.
The best place to try Kobe beef and know it’s authentic is in duh… Kobe, Japan.
*Check this list of restaurants to make sure what you’re getting is authentic.
KOBE BEEF IN OSAKA | Most people land at Osaka Airport and then make their way over to Kobe using public transit. If you don’t want to make the extra trip, there are affordable options for Kobe beef in Osaka too! Check menus here.
What’s the Difference between Wagyu and Kobe Beef
Wagyu is often marketed as Kobe beef and they’ve essentially come to mean almost the exact same thing in everyday vernacular. But they are NOT the same.
Kobe beef is known for fine marbling throughout
Where wagyu is basically any cattle raised in Japan or raised in the Japanese style, Kobe beef is strictly regulated. Each must be from the Tajima-gyu strain, have fine marbling throughout, high levels of unsaturated fatty acids, and meet very rigorous standards to be considered Kobe beef.
In fact, there are just 3-4000 head of cattle designated as Kobe beef in all of Japan each year. It’s the rarity as much as the quality that contributes to the high price of Kobe beef around the world.
A breakdown of all the different cuts of Kobe beef.
Japan Travel Essentials
Hotels and Other Accommodation
Travel Insurance for South Korea
Wifi, SIM Cards, and Portable Wifi
Money-Saving Transit and Transport Passes
Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tours
Day Tours and Discounted Admission Tickets
Steakland Kobe | The Experience
Address: Japan, 〒650-1112 Hyogo, Kobe, Chuo Ward, Kitanagasadori, 1 Chome−9−17 三宮興業ビル ６階 | 〒650-1112 兵庫県神戸市中央区北長狭通１丁目９−17 三宮興業ビル ６階
I spent a fair bit of time researching all the restaurants where we could indulge our meat fantasies, and narrowed it down to Steakland Kobe or Wakkoqu.
In the end, Wakkoqu’s $150 price tag deterred me, and we ended up at the much more reasonable, but still excellently reviewed Steakland. Sure, it probably wasn’t the best Kobe beef in Kobe, but it would do for our purposes.
Teppanyaki style seating at Steakland Kobe.
Steakland Kobe is a few floors full of teppanyaki style seating, set up so that everyone can have a view of what the chef is up to.
After some debate, and more than a little confusion while we tried to find out exactly which part of the cow each meal came with, I settled on Steakland Kobe’s Lunch Set, and X ordered the more expensive Sirloin Lunch Set. The idea being that we would try each other’s steaks to compare, and save a bit of cash in the process.
Raw Kobe beef waiting for grilling at Steakland Kobe.
At Steakland, the Kobe steaks appeared long before someone to cook them did, so we spent some time staring at their juicy redness, dreaming about how delicious they would be, before we actually got to eat them. Even raw, the beef looked different than anything I’ve seen before, with a pinkish cast and threads of fat throughout.
Our chef finally appeared, shyly introduced himself, cleaned the hot plate, then grilled some sliced garlic to crispy perfection, followed by bean sprouts, shimeji mushrooms and green pumpkin.
We were asked if we wanted our steak rare, or medium rare – with no higher choice offered. The chef at Steakland Kobe then sliced, diced and carefully prepared each morsel of meat with absolute precision to the exact level of doneness.
It’s fun to watch the chef at work at Steakland Kobe
My cheaper Kobe beef was already beyond anything I’d ever tasted, but when I placed a piece of X’s more expensive cut in my mouth, let’s just say I was transported to steak nirvana. It basically evaporated in my mouth, leaving a taste so rich, yet light and flavourful, it was hard to believe it was just meat.
I can’t say that it was life-changing, but it was definitely the best piece of grilled beef I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.
My medium rare beef at Steakland Kobe
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Steakland Kobe Menu Prices
There’s a huge number of Kobe beef restaurants in Kobe, all with varying service and cost levels. They sky is really the limit when it comes to the price of Kobe beef.
Look out for this sign, and you’ll be close to Kobe beef nirvana.
However, Steakland Kobe is solidly on the tourist radar for good reason. Sure, it might not be the best Kobe beef restaurant in the city, but it offers one of the best value Kobe beef sets in the country. Our meal in total, including beer was 12,800 Yen, and included a mid-range cut, one of the most expensive steaks on the menu, soup, salad and coffee.
Check out their full menu on their website.
When we arrived for lunch, there was no line at Steakland Kobe.
We arrived around 12:30 on a Saturday and though we found a line outside the restaurant, we were seated quickly (about 15 minutes). There was no issue with bringing our stroller or the baby into the restaurant.
READ NEXT:Kinkakuji Temple, the Golden Pavilion is a Must-See in Kyoto
Getting to Sannomiya in Kobe
Steakland Kobe is a short walk away from Kobe’s Sannomiya Station. However, there are many, many other Kobe beef restaurants in the immediate area if you don’t want to go to Steakland.
Steakland Kobe is a short walk away from Sannomiya Station
If you’re landing at Kansai airport in the morning, I recommend hopping on the direct limousine bus to Kobe, before checking out Osaka or Kyoto. That’s what we did and it worked out perfectly.
The bus stop is a 10 minute walk away from all the beef restaurants in Kobe, and there’s plenty to see and do in the area. As an added bonus, you’ll find that lunch menus for Kobe beef in Kobe are much more affordable than dinner menus, for practically the exact same thing.
The area around Sannomiya Station is full of restaurants.
The bus ride takes approximately 80 minutes and costs 1950 Yen per person. Tickets can be purchased at a machine outside the airport terminal. From Terminal 3 where we landed, the bus departed on the hour at :05 and :55.
JR HARUKA AIRPORT EXPRESS | Prefer taking trains? The convenient JR Haruka Airport Express travels from Kansai Airport to major cities in the Kansai region, like Kobe, Kyoto, and Osaka. Check details here.
After filling your belly, you can walk off your meal by heading over to the nearby Ikuta Shrine – it’s one of the oldest shrines in the country, and one of the top things to do in Kobe. It’s just a few minutes away.
Take a stroll over to Ikuta Shrine to burn off all those calories.
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Steakland Kobe: Essential Info and FAQs
Where is Steakland Kobe located? You'll find Steakland Kobe near Sannomiya Station in Kobe, nestled amongst a ton of other affordable Kobe beef restaurants. The address is: Japan, 〒650-1112 Hyogo, Kobe, Chuo Ward, Kitanagasadori, 1 Chome−9−17 三宮興業ビル ６階.
What are the opening times and days for Steakland Kobe? Steakland Kobe is open from 11:00 - 22:00, with the last order at 21:00.
Can I make reservations at Steakland Kobe? It is possible to make reservations at Steakland Kobe, by calling +81783322900, however it might be best to have your hotel call due to the language barrier.
How much does it cost to eat at Kobe beef at Steakland? Steakland sells its Kobe beef in set menus, ranging from ￥3,500 at lunch for the cheapest cut to ¥13,800 for the most expensive set at dinner.
Are you a meat-eater? Have you ever eaten a life-changing steak? Where was it? Tell us all about it in the comments below.
Kobe beef is Wagyu beef, but not all Wagyu beef is Kobe. Only the top quality carcass from the best pedigree Tajima gyu cattle makes Kobe. For being Kobe beef, a carcass of Tajima gyu cattle has to meet stringent criteria set by Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association.How to reserve in Steakland Kobe? ›
- Reservation application (steak land Kobe-kan) for exclusive use of the travel agency.
Not surprisingly, the most expensive meat in the world — the Kobe beef A5 Wagyu Tomahawk — is also the highest quality of beef. Only a specific type of cattle from a certain region of Japan are selected to make Kobe beef, according to Ventured.Is it worth going to Kobe for Kobe beef? ›
The best place to try Kobe beef is in Kobe itself. That might mean you need to take a little extra jaunt, but it's well worth it for the experience.Which is better Kobe or Wagyu? ›
Because Kobe beef exemplifies everything that makes Wagyu better! It is considered the most abundantly marbled beef in the world. To be labelled Kobe, cattle must meet stringent standards upon slaughter. Due to these stringent standards, only 3,000 head of cattle qualify as authentic Kobe cattle each year.Which is higher quality Wagyu or Kobe? ›
It is low in saturated fats and high in monounsaturated fats. It is high in sodium and low in cholesterol. On the other hand, Kobe beef is a variety of Wagyu beef. You can even say that Kobe beef is the highest quality Wagyu beef as Kobe is widely regarded as the most marbled beef in the world.Is a day trip to Kobe worth it? ›
Is day trip to Kobe doable? You can easily visit Kobe on a day trip from Osaka or Kyoto. The journey is only around an hour or less and it's totally worth the journey.Is Kobe beef cheaper in Japan? ›
Depending on the grade of Kobe beef you choose, a single steak can cost upwards of $400 in the US or $200 in Japan. However, you can also get a high grade Kobe beef in Kobe at lunchtime for under $50 per person, so the Kobe beef price in Japan is usually less than half what it is abroad.Can you buy Kobe beef in the US? ›
There is only one true Kobe Beef. In addition to impressive quality standards for raising it, there are tightly controlled standards for selling it. Today, there are only 8 US retailers authorized to sell this rare, premium product, and only 37 US restaurants have the certification to serve it.How much is 1lb of Kobe beef? ›
Kobe beef is considered the most expensive and sought after beef in the world, with single portions often selling for more than $200. In Japan, the cost of Kobe beef starts at about $300 per pound. In the States, it can be $50 per ounce—whereas other non-Kobe Wagyu can be half of that cost.
A cut of legitimate Kobe beef will cost a diner around $200, and a Kobe burger is around $50. What is it about Kobe beef that makes it such a delicacy? Its unparalleled flavor, texture, and tenderness make it a particular indulgence for fine beef connoisseurs.What steak cost $1000 dollars? ›
This is the definition of extra. Papi Steak Restaurant in Miami Beach serves a $1,000 Wagyu tomahawk steak that is is presented to the table in a briefcase. One of the waiters brands the steak at the table during the presentation.How much Kobe beef per person? ›
For the Japanese A5 wagyu, plan to serve about one to two ounces of meat per person. That means a 13-ounce steak can feed anywhere from six to 12 people!How much does Kobe beef cost per oz? ›
Generally, Kobe goes for around $20-50 per ounce, depending on the restaurant or store of purchase. If you're purchasing the delicacy from a certified online retailer, you'll likely pay $100 (or a little more) for a 2-ounce cut.How long should I spend in Kobe? ›
Two days is a good amount of time to spend in Kobe. It allows you to slow down a little and thoroughly savour all the sights you're seeing. We suggest following the one-day itinerary for the first day, as it covers most of the highlights in Kobe city itself.What are the top 3 Wagyu beef? ›
Japan's "top three" wagyu brands — specifically Matsusaka Ushi, Kobe Beef, and Ohmi Beef — all hail from the Kansai region of Japan. While their bloodlines all trace their origins to Tajima beef, a subspecies of Japanese Black cattle from Hyogo Prefecture, each of these wagyu brands boasts a unique flavor profile.What's the best beef in the world? ›
Wagyu beef originates from Japan and is considered by many the best beef on the planet. With the name meaning “Japanese Cow” (wa = Japanese, gyu = cow), it can be found in four different types of Japanese cattle.What is the American version of Kobe beef? ›
Highly prized for its rich flavor, Wagyu beef is among the finest beef in the world. USDA's certification programs have successfully helped the industry market its brands with USDA integrity for over twenty years.Is American Wagyu as good as Japanese? ›
Authentic Japanese Wagyu is known for incredible flavor and tenderness, superb melting texture, and intense marbling—all which American Wagyu simply cannot compare to. Japanese Wagyu quality is simply unmatched due to the high standard of cattle raising and robust grading standards.Is filet mignon or Wagyu better? ›
The filet has a sweet flavor and delicate tenderness. Because this muscle is mostly sedentary, it is very supple. In Wagyu, particularly 100% Fullblood Wagyu, the Filet Mignon has more marbling, bringing even more velvety decadence and flavor than Filet Mignon cuts from other breeds of cattle.
The Daily Mail explains that the winning sirloin is an A4 grade, also known as Akune Gold, and considered an ultra-premium steak. The cow was raised on the subtropical island of Kyushu, which, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization, is home to cows that produce this ultra-premium form of Wagyu beef.Which is better Osaka or Kobe? ›
Definitely Osaka. It has a very lively center, some great museums, great food, shops and clubs. And it has Osaka castle (you see in every Samurai movie and movie on medieval Japan) and a great aquarium. Kobe is nice but not as nearly as interesting as Osaka.Are Osaka and Kobe the same? ›
It is part of the Keihanshin metropolitan area along with Osaka and Kyoto. The Kobe city centre is located about 35 km (22 mi) west of Osaka and 70 km (43 mi) southwest of Kyoto.Can you swim in Kobe? ›
Suma is the largest beach in Osaka-Kobe area. Thousands of people visit here to enjoy swimming, boating and yachting.What is the best beef in Japan? ›
In Japan, Kobe beef, Matsusaka beef, and Omi beef are usually considered the “top three” wagyu brands. While overseas, Kobe beef is sometimes used synonymously with the term "wagyu", it is only one in hundreds of varieties produced all over Japan.What is the difference between American and Japanese Kobe beef? ›
American Wagyu cattle are fed for 400+ days, while Japanese Wagyu cattle are fed for 650+ days. Although closely held secret, Japanese Wagyu diet consists of barley, wheat bran, rice bran, corn, and other quality feed.What is the real expensive beef from Japan? ›
Japanese Wagyu beef is prized for its famous flavor profile. The unique taste, texture, and tenderness is the product of famous Wagyu genetics, diet, and environment. Although this world-renowned beef creates an eating experience unlike any other, many become curious as to why authentic Japanese Wagyu is so expensive.Is there fake Wagyu? ›
Once you've seen what real Wagyu beef looks like, you may be able to spot an imitation product with the naked eye. This type of beef features a distinct appearance due to the intricate fat marbling, which looks like thin white webs or veins across the entire piece.What cost more Kobe beef or Wagyu? ›
Kobe is typically a more expensive meat than Wagyu because it's rarer to find. Kobe beef comes only from one specific area of Japan, whereas Wagyu beef comes from Japanese Wagyu cattle. Only about 3,000 cattle classify as Japanese Kobe beef every year, which lends to its expensive pricing.What does A5 Wagyu mean? ›
The highest yield grade and meat quality grade for Wagyu beef is A5, where A represents the yield grade, and 5 represents the meat quality grade. A5 Wagyu beef denotes meat with ideal firmness and texture, coloring, yield, and beef marbling score.
Both the Angus and Wagyu beef have excellent marbling and are of superior quality. In terms of marbling, Wagyu beef is ahead, making it more flavourful than Angus beef. Wagyu beef is also more tender, and softer to the touch. Both the Wagyu and Angus beef possessed a nutty aroma, different from other beef.What is the most expensive cut of beef? ›
The creme de la creme. Japanese Kobe steak is usually considered the most expensive steak globally, with its marbling recognized as the world's best. With strict grading processes and only 3,000 cattle making the cut annually to be called authentic Kobe beef, you can see why it is an expensive option.Are Kobe and Wagyu beef the same? ›
Kobe beef comes from one specific breed of Japanese cow. It's called Tajima, but you may have heard it referred to as Wagyu or Japanese Black. All three names refer to the same breed of cattle that live in the Hyogo prefecture (near Kobe) and produce the famous Kobe beef.What is the difference between A4 and A5 Kobe beef? ›
A4 Wagyu has slightly less fat and is not as overwhelmingly rich as A5 Wagyu. It still has the unique melts-in-your-mouth and the umami qualities which are unique to the Kuroge Washu breed, but carries a more beefy flavor profile and you can eat more of it in one sitting.Why is Kobe beef so expensive? ›
Kobe beef is considered the most abundantly marbled in the world, brimming with the creamiest, most decadent, most flavorful streaks of fat a steak can have. Because of this and the uncompromising regulations the region uses for its cattle, Kobe beef is the most expensive beef in the world.What is the rarest steak in the world? ›
Olive Sanuki Wagyu, exclusively raised in Kagawa prefecture is fed on the remains of pressed olives - It's considered the rarest beef in the world. If you tr...What is the most expensive cut of steak in America? ›
The tenderloin is home to the most expensive steak cuts you can find—like the filet mignon. This perfectly round, tender medallion of beef is prized for its soft and tender texture.What is the richest steak? ›
The A5 Wagyu Kobe steak is considered the highest quality and the most expensive steak in the world. It's not something you come across often, even at top steakhouses. It's the rarest grade of Japanese Wagyu beef steak. This is a type of Wagyu steak that comes from Kobe.What is the most expensive cut of meat? ›
As its name implies, the tenderloin is the most tender cut of beef. It's also known as a filet. It's the most expensive cut there is because of its tenderness.Why you can't eat a lot of Wagyu? ›
“With the Japanese stuff, because it's so fatty and rich, most people can't eat more than a few bites of it before it's so overwhelming. So if you're in the mood for a steak dinner, and you want a giant steak, you can't really do that with Japanese Wagyu.”
Only 43 restaurants in the US serve real Kobe beef — here's where you can order it.Is Kobe beef good for burgers? ›
Kobe is a name synonymous with the best quality beef that money can buy. A Kobe burger in Japan can cost upwards of $50 or more, while American Style Kobe burgers typically start at about $17 in fine dining establishments that serve them.How thick should Kobe beef be? ›
Most are only 1/2" to 3/4" thick, with tenderloins sometimes cut a bit thicker at 1" to 2". Because Japanese Wagyu beef is so tender and flavorful, they are best cooked quickly over high heat. The thinness of these cuts allows the beef to be quickly warmed just enough to melt the fat without overcooking it.How much is 1 lb of Wagyu steak? ›
Wagyu: Price Per Pound
It can go high as $200 per pound, while you can get the rarest steak, which is the olive wagyu, between $120 and $300 per pound. An American Wagyu beef will cost at around $10-$15 per pound, depending on where you buy it from.
Average Daily Costs
While meal prices in Kobe can vary, the average cost of food in Kobe is ¥4,645 per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Kobe should cost around ¥1,858 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner.
The fat levels of Kobe beef might sound unhealthy, but it's actually the opposite. Kobe beef is filled with unsaturated fats, which have been shown to lower cholesterol levels. Kobe beef is also rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, making it among the healthiest red meat that you can consume.Is Kobe 8 or 24 better? ›
They also only date back to 2000-01, so the most they can show is that the Lakers were better defensively in two of the six available seasons with No. 8 on the court (2000-01, 2002-03) and five of 10 with No. 24 playing (2006-07, 2007-08, 2009-10, 2011-12, 2013-14).What year is the best Kobe? ›
First, there are five quality grades, based on the marbling, colour and texture of the meat, as well as the colour of the fat: 1 (Poor), 2 (Below Average), 3 (Average), 4 (Good) or 5 (Excellent). The meat's yield is divided into the following grades: A (72% and above), B (69% and above, but under 72%) or C (under 69%).Which Kobe jersey is the best? ›
- MPLS throwback jerseys (2001-02) and (2004-05) ...
- Royal blue jersey (2003-04) ...
- 2003 All-Star Game jersey. ...
- Lakers' “Hollywood Nights” black jerseys (2013-14) ...
- Team USA (2008 and 2012) ...
- Lower Merion High School jersey. ...
- Showtime era jerseys (1996-97) ...
- Early and late 2000s championship jerseys.
Kobe Bryant wore the No. 8 from the 1996-1997 season until the 2005-2006 season. Over that span, he aged from 18 to 28 years old.What year is prime Kobe? ›
Summary: Kobe Byrant's Prime
Kobe Bryant's prime lasted for 14 years. He was at his absolute statistical peak from 2005 to 2008 but was a force in the NBA from 1999 to 2013. During his peak, he made 14 All Star teams, won five NBA titles and won an NBA MVP as well.
January 22, 2006: Kobe Bryant drops 81 points on Jalen Rose and the Raptors. Kobe Bryant trolls Jalen Rose with joke about 81-point performance |...What year did the Kobe 7 come out? ›
Just over a decade ago, Kobe Bryant was atop the food chain in the basketball world. Throughout the 2011-12 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard wore his seventh signature basketball shoe with Nike, which carried a special meaning.Is A1 or A5 better? ›
A5 Wagyu is regarded as the best grade, so A5 is better than A1 Wagyu in terms of overall quality. Therefore, A5 Wagyu usually costs more per pound than A1 Wagyu beef.What is A9 Wagyu? ›
In order to be rated A5 or A9 the marbling must score between 8-12 on the BMS scale. An A5 or A9 rating is extremely difficult to achieve. While the Japanese have perfected the grading standards for Wagyu over many centuries, the American Wagyu standards have been largely attempting to follow their lead.How much does real Kobe beef cost? ›
Kobe beef is considered the most expensive and sought after beef in the world, with single portions often selling for more than $200. In Japan, the cost of Kobe beef starts at about $300 per pound. In the States, it can be $50 per ounce—whereas other non-Kobe Wagyu can be half of that cost.Is Arby's Wagyu real? ›
The burgers, made from a blend of 51% American Wagyu and 49% ground beef, are cooked sous-vide style and finished with a quick flash fry.