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Iwate, a prefecture in Tohoku that's blessed with lush nature, is an area where lots of brand wagyu (Japanese beef) cattle are raised, including the popular Maesawa-ushi beef. Wagyu cattle are known for being raised healthily and with lots of love from their raiser. Here are 5 restaurants where you can enjoy this delicious meat.

1. Gingarikyuu

This is a restaurant managed by Iwachiku, a company that focuses on animal husbandry and creating processed meat products. At this restaurant, you can enjoy Iwate beef brands like Iwate beef, Iwate Japanese Shorthorn beef, and Iwate Maezawa-gyu as steak, yakiniku, and shabu shabu. They also have a kaiseki course meal available that uses plenty of regional Iwate ingredients as well as four Wagyu Zanmai courses (6,300 JPY - 16,000 JPY per person (incl. tax)) courses where you can enjoy Iwate beef as yakiniku or shabu shabu. For groups of 2 or more, a reservation made by the day before is required.

Wagyu Zanmai Cho Tokusen Course

1. Gingarikyuu

Dai 2 San Bldg. 1F, 1-4-10 Saien, Morioka-shi, Iwate

2. Niku Izakaya Ten

This is a yakiniku restaurant where you can enjoy various kinds of meat such as special Japanese beef. There is also an izakaya (gastropub) menu with lots of side dishes that go well with alcohol. The most popular cut is the Tokusei Shio Tan (1,700 JPY (excl. tax)). Only the most delicious part of the salted beef tongue is served. There's also the Karuhoru-mori (2,400 JPY (excl. tax)), which is a set featuring different kinds of offal, and 3 people's worth of kalbi (marinated ribs). The restaurant's most popular dish is the Morioka Reimen (800 JPY (excl. tax)). Please enjoy the rich yet refreshing special soup.

Karuhoru-mori

2. Niku Izakaya Ten

1F, 2-1-7 Chuo-dori, Morioka-shi, Iwate

3. Be

This restaurant offers delicious charcoal-grilled steak. Some of their popular dishes are the Iwate Japanese Shorthorn Steak (2,550 JPY (incl. tax) for 100g of sirloin) and the Domestic Beef Rib Roast Steak (1,480 JPY (incl. tax) for 120g). The lunch menu has sets that include side dishes, miso soup, mini-dessert, and coffee and has offerings like the Bifuteki Gohan (1,850 JPY (incl. tax)), which uses domestic rib roast steak and rice, and the Kokusan-gyu Steak Donburi (1,300 JPY (incl. tax)), a rice bowl topped with healthy domestic red meat with little fat.

Iwate Japanese Shorthorn Steak

3. Be

1F, 5-2 Uchimaru, Morioka-shi, Iwate

4. Otaya

This is a yakiniku restaurant in a quiet residential area that's popular with locals. You might be able to enjoy outside thick flank and inside thick flank (each 1,800 JPY (excl. tax)) cut from Maesawa-ushi round. For people who have never been to this restaurant before, the Niku Set (2,900 JPY (excl. tax)) featuring various types of cuts is recommended. It's a reasonably priced set that comes with vegetables. Other than meat, this restaurant is proud of their Otaya Reimen (700 JPY (excl. tax)), cold noodles. The special soup made from pork and chicken broth is full of collagen. It's perfect as a final dish after all the yakiniku.

Meat Set

4. Otaya

1-9-2, 1F Minami-Odori, Morioka-shi, Iwate

5. Gyuniku Ryori Ajigokoro

This is a restaurant managed by a ranch where Japanese Black beef is raised. They offer yakiniku (grilled meat), sukiyaki, and shabu shabu using Maesawa-ushi beef and their own brand called Ogata Bokujo beef. For lunch, there are plenty of reasonable dishes available like the Maesawa-ushi Sirloin Steak Set (10,800 JPY for around 200g (incl. tax)), the Ogata Bokujo Beef Sirloin Steak Set (5,400 JPY for around 150g (incl. tax)), the Special Salisbury Steak Set (1,404 JPY (incl. tax)) and the Maesawa-ushi Beef Curry (1,188 JPY (incl. tax)).

5. Gyuniku Ryori Ajigokoro

102-4 2F, Togasaki, Maesawa-ku, Oshu-shi, Iwate

Maesawa-ushi is popular nationwide for its soft meat and gentle sweetness. If you try the raw beef sashimi, the fat will melt in your mouth like butter. It's very valued as a topping for nigirizushi. Please try it!

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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