Pairing Kobe Beef With Sake From Japan’s Largest Brewing Region!

Japan by Food -- Sep 11

Kobe is a culinary city known (and loved) for its premium namesake beef and sake. But this didn’t happen overnight–there was a 1200-year period in Japan during which the Emperor of Japan banned the consumption of meat.

This restriction ended in the Meiji period in the late 1800’s when the country opened up to foreign traders and Western influence. Shizuka takes us on a multi-sensory journey through the charming city of Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture.

Shizuka begins her premium beef quest at the Kobe City Wholesale Western Market, the processing plant for Kobe beef and the site of the famed cattle auctions. Our cheerful host sanitary suits-up and heads inside the auction quarters, where she marvels at a Kobe beef auction and quizzes one of the auctioneers on the process.

The next stop on this culinary tour of Kobe is Nada, one of Japan’s top sake-producing regions! Shizuka arrives at Nadagogo-sakedokoro, a brewery turned community gathering place to sip on and appreciate the region's famed sake. Shizuka toasts to the gods and slings back some nihonshu (sake) with the Nadagogo operator. He presents her with a flight of the finest before they continue to tour the facilities.

With her spirit fuelled by sake, Shizuka ventures to Arima Onsen–a hot spring town in the mountains of Kobe with a history dating back over a 1,000 years. Here, Kobe’s superstars combine for a Kobe beef and sake pairing at Gekkoen Hot Spring Hotel. Shizuka marvels at the spacious room ahead of her evening meal. With a click of Shizuka’s fingers, a grand multi-course feast appears, starring Kobe beef and accompanied by premium sake, of course.