The Pride of Kobe Beef

The Kobe Beef title is awarded only to the beef that satisfies the strictest qualification standards.


What is Kobe Beef?

Kobe Beef has captivated the palates of luminaries worldwide, with various anecdotes to exemplify its distinguished taste.
For instance, former American President Barack Obama famously wished to taste Kobe Beef when he visited Japan in 2009.
Also, legendary professional basketball player, the late Kobe Bryant, was named after the delicacy when his father was amazed by its deliciousness.


Where is Kobe?

Kobe is a major city located in the southern part of Hyogo Prefecture in the Kansai area of Japan.
After the opening of the Port of Kobe in 1868, the city became a cosmopolitan leader in introducing aspects of Western culture from sports to art, fashion and foods, and developed into an international harbor city where people, goods and information intermingle.
The city of Kobe is an intriguing mélange of Japanese traditions and culture, with a variety of historic architecture, and is rich in sightseeing spots, making it a popular tourist destination.

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History of Kobe Beef

The history of Kobe Beef is quite extensive, dating back to the late 19th century.
When the Port of Yokohama, located more than 400 kilometers east of Kobe, opened at that time, Western persons sought to purchase beef, and so Tajima cattle was shipped from Kobe.
Amazed by its delicious taste, rumors about this wonderful beef quickly spread.
Because the beef came from Kobe, it was called Kobe Beef and became the origin of the famous brand name.

Why has Kobe Beef been capturing the palates of people?

Flavor

The secret to the delicious taste of Kobe Beef is in the perfect balance of fat marbling and lean meat, and the richness of umami components.

Marbling
The fatty content intricately marbles itself into the muscle and melts on your tongue instantly as you take a bite.
Marbling
The fatty content intricately marbles itself into the muscle and melts on your tongue instantly as you take a bite.
Lean meat
The lean meat has tender fibers and refined sweetness.
Lean meat
The lean meat has tender fibers and refined sweetness.
Umami components
Compared to other beef, Kobe Beef is richer in the umami components inosinic acid and oleic acid, which determines the taste of fat.
Umami components
Compared to other beef, Kobe Beef is richer in the umami components inosinic acid and oleic acid, which determines the taste of fat.


What sets Kobe Beef vastly apart from numerous other kinds of beef, is the tender and rich flavor and the way in which the delicate fat pleasantly melts in your mouth.

Protecting the tradition and lineage of Kobe Beef

The top determinant of a beef’s meat texture is its lineage.
The flawless flavor of Kobe Beef can only be achieved by purebred Tajima cattle. Inheriting its superior genes since 1,200 years ago,
Tajima cattle does not interbreed with any other cattle in the world,
and its pedigree has been protected to this day, refined only through quality bloodlines.

  • Kuroge Wagyu, or Japanese Black cattle, is the most famous Wagyu beef cattle. Its roots can be traced back to Tajiri-go, a Tajima bull born in northern Hyogo Prefecture in 1939. Tajiri-go was genetically strong with a great meat texture, and was used to breed many offspring. As a result, it is estimated that 99.9% of the Kuroge Wagyu in Japan today have inherited Tajiri-go’s genes.

    Origin of Kuroge Wagyu

    Kuroge Wagyu, or Japanese Black cattle, is the most famous Wagyu beef cattle. Its roots can be traced back to Tajiri-go, a Tajima bull born in northern Hyogo Prefecture in 1939. Tajiri-go was genetically strong with a great meat texture, and was used to breed many offspring. As a result, it is estimated that 99.9% of the Kuroge Wagyu in Japan today have inherited Tajiri-go’s genes.

  • Tajima cattle are raised among the mountains in the Tajima area of Hyogo Prefecture, surrounded by a rich natural environment with clean air, pure streams and abundant wild plants. The soft pasture grass native to the area and the mineral-rich waters form the favorable climate to create Tajima cattle’s unique meat texture.

    Favorable climate

    Tajima cattle are raised among the mountains in the Tajima area of Hyogo Prefecture, surrounded by a rich natural environment with clean air, pure streams and abundant wild plants. The soft pasture grass native to the area and the mineral-rich waters form the favorable climate to create Tajima cattle’s unique meat texture.

  • Tajima cattle has strong genes that can pass on its excellent meat texture. Considered the top of Japan’s native Kuroge Wagyu breed, Tajima cattle is often used as “motoushi” (purebred seedstock) for Wagyu breed improvement across the country. Its bloodline is carefully managed since over 100 years ago to protect its lineage, so that the superior genes can be passed on through generations.

    Carrying on the heredity

    Tajima cattle has strong genes that can pass on its excellent meat texture. Considered the top of Japan’s native Kuroge Wagyu breed, Tajima cattle is often used as “motoushi” (purebred seedstock) for Wagyu breed improvement across the country. Its bloodline is carefully managed since over 100 years ago to protect its lineage, so that the superior genes can be passed on through generations.

  • Tajima cattle, the motoushi seedstock of Kobe Beef, is endowed with thin, resilient skin, hair soft as feathers and firm muscles. In addition, its thin bones and small amount of subcutaneous fat means that a large portion of its body is consumable. Tajima cattle truly possesses the best qualities and superb meat texture.

    Inherently excellent meat texture

    Tajima cattle, the motoushi seedstock of Kobe Beef, is endowed with thin, resilient skin, hair soft as feathers and firm muscles. In addition, its thin bones and small amount of subcutaneous fat means that a large portion of its body is consumable. Tajima cattle truly possesses the best qualities and superb meat texture.

Strict qualification standards

Out of all Tajima Beef, the title of Kobe Beef is attained only by those which rank at or above A or B; achieve level 4 or higher; and fulfill all of the following five criteria:

  1. Tajima cattle raised in Hyogo Prefecture by a designated breeding farm
  2. Heifer or steer between 28 to 60 months old
  3. Processed at a designated meat center in Hyogo Prefecture
  4. Meat yield grade A or B; meat quality grade 4 or higher; and beef marbling standard (BMS) ranked No. 6 or higher
  5. Carcass weight at 499.9 kg or less
Beef Rating A 5 4 3 2 1 B C Meat yield grade Meat quality grade Kobe Beef Tajima Beef Beef Rating A 5 4 3 2 1 B C Meat yield grade Meat quality grade Kobe Beef Tajima Beef

Enjoying Kobe Beef in the United States

Savor or purchase Kobe Beef at a registered restaurant or shop near you.

How to verify if a shop is a Designated Registration Store

Check the Kobe Beef Marketing & Distribution Promotion Association website, or see the proof of registration at the storefront.

Displayed at the storefront of every Designated Registration Store is a bronze statue portraying the face of a cattle, as proof of authenticity. To serve Kobe Beef, shops must be authenticated as a Designated Registration Store by the Kobe Beef Marketing & Distribution Promotion Association, which manages the Kobe Beef brand.

A bronze statue given to a designated registered store.
A bronze statue given to a designated registered store.

How to verify if a shop is a Designated Registration Store

Check the Kobe Beef Marketing & Distribution Promotion Association website, or see the proof of registration at the storefront.

Displayed at the storefront of every Designated Registration Store is a bronze statue portraying the face of a cattle, as proof of authenticity. To serve Kobe Beef, shops must be authenticated as a Designated Registration Store by the Kobe Beef Marketing & Distribution Promotion Association, which manages the Kobe Beef brand.

Purchase at a shop near you

Enjoy authentic Kobe Beef in your favorite cooking style at a momentous occasion with family and friends, or as a gift for someone special.
Click on the button below to search for a shop near you.

Eat at a restaurant near you

Savor delectable Kobe Beef prepared by professional chefs with extensive knowledge on the premium beef.
Click on the button below to search for a restaurant near you.

Enjoy Kobe Beef in its hometown

There are more than 80 certified restaurants serving Kobe Beef in its hometown.
In addition to enjoying the premium beef, visit the various sites in the city related to Kobe Beef.

Some of the best ways to savor Kobe Beef

Yakiniku

(Japanese-style barbecue)

Shabu-shabu hot pot dish

 

Gyudon

(Beef bowl)

Yakiniku

(Japanese-style barbecue)

Shabu-shabu

hot pot dish

Gyudon

(Beef bowl)

Explore the port town of Kobe

Kobe Maritime Museum

The Kobe Maritime Museum is located in the town of Hatoba in Chuo Ward, Kobe City, and is easily accessible from the popular tourist destination Kobe Port Tower.

Mount Rokko

Mount Rokko extends from the western to the northern parts of the urban area of Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture. Commonly, Mount Rokko refers to the entire Rokko Mountain Range, which includes various sized mountains spanning not only Kobe but also the surrounding cities of Ashiya, Nishinomiya and Takarazuka. At the mountaintop, there are many relaxing sightseeing spots such as a pasture farm and an ancient temple with a wonderful view. The night view from Mount Maya is famous as one of the three best n…

Akashi Kaikyo Bridge

Akashi Kaikyo Bridge is the longest cable suspension bridge in the world, connecting the city of Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture with Awaji Island in a stretch of around 4 kilometers. Recognizable by the symbolic two main towers rising to the sky, the bridge is also known as Pearl Bridge, beautifully lit up like a band of pearls at night.

Arima Onsen

One of Japan's three most famous and historic hot springs, Arima Onsen, is located at the northern foot of Mount Rokko near the city of Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture. It is said to be the oldest hot spring in Japan and also known to have been favored by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, one of the most prominent warlords in the Warring States period (late 15th century to mid-16th century). The traditional atmosphere of the traditional hot spring town can be felt even today. Enjoy a full hot spring tour with the t…

Kobe Kitano Ijinkan Gai

Kitano is located at the foot of Mount Rokko overlooking Kobe Port. When the port opened in 1868, the Kitano area became a foreign settlement and many Western-style houses were built. In the present day, these mansions are called ijinkan (residence of foreigners) and displayed to the public. The town is an exotic mélange of Western-style and Eastern-style buildings and also has friendship ties with Paris's Montmartre area. Just a 15-minute walk from Kobe's central Sannomiya area, Kitano Ijinkan…

Kobe Harborland

Located slightly west of the downtown, Kobe Harborland is one of the leading tourist areas and a large commercial complex in the city with shopping malls, restaurants, movie theaters and other recreational facilities. The Takahama Wharf where ships including the Kobe Concerto cruise ship berth is a perfect spot to take a stroll while feeling the refreshing sea breeze.

Nankinmachi

Located in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, Nankinmachi is one of Japan's three largest Chinatowns along with those in Yokohama and Nagasaki. The exotic streets are lined with buildings of Chinese-style designs, comprising various shops ranging from authentic Chinese to international cuisine, teas and sweets, as well as unique stores offering sundries and gourmet ingredients.

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art

The Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art opened in 2002 in HAT Kobe, the new city center located in the eastern part of Kobe, as a symbol of the city's cultural resurrection from the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. It is one of the largest-scale art museums in western Japan, with a collection of around 10,000 works by artists with ties to Hyogo Prefecture such as Ryohei Koiso and Heizo Kanayama. The building was designed by world-renowned architect Tadao Ando as a place for various forms of art to c…

How to get to Kobe with ANA

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From Haneda Airport, flight to Kobe Airport or Osaka International Airport (Itami Airport) allows for convenient travel to Kobe city center. Flight from Haneda Airport to Kobe Airport or Osaka International Airport is approximately 1 hour 15 minutes.

Since flight operations are subject to change depending on circumstances, please see the latest flight schedule for the international flights and domestic flights .

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