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A famous Ginza restaurant on the beauty of Wagyu

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"Ginza Yoshizawa" has been serving grilled and shabu-shabu dishes using the highest quality of Wagyu in Tokyo Ginza for over 50 years. Because this restaurant also serves as a meat reseller, it can offer the assorted flavors of Wagyu strictly selected from amongst production areas all across Japan, including Matsusaka Ushi. We asked executive director Yusuke Yoshizawa, manager of Ginza Yoshizawa and second son of founder "Shoten Yoshizawa", about the depth of flavor in the world-famous Wagyu.

--- Ginza is an area visited by many foreign tourists and business people. Do you get many foreign diners at your restaurant?

Mr. Yoshizawa:Yes, especially business people. This restaurant has 12 Japanese style private dining rooms, allowing diners to enjoy their food in a relaxed setting amidst a traditional Japanese ambiance. Recently diners from China are the most numerous.
There are several hotels near the restaurant, and tourists come in occasionally. The first floor is a butcher shop, so many people are attracted by seeing the meat display while passing by.

--- How do foreign diners react to sukiyaki and shabu-shabu

Mr. Yoshizawa:All of our customers are delightfully shocked at the delicate flavor of the marbled meat (meat with thin veins of fat running through the muscle) that is a distinctive feature of Wagyu. The tender meat quality is especially prized among visitors from other Asian countries and the Middle East.
Our oil grilled dishes are also very popular. We grill thick sliced meat on an oiled iron hot-pot and serve with grated daikon and special sauce. This dish highlights the natural flavor of the meat.

---"Ginza Yoshizawa" is famous as a restaurant that serves "Matsusaka Ushi", the highest quality brand of Wagyu.

Mr. Yoshizawa:The relationship between our restaurant and "Matsusaka Ushi" goes back to our founding days. "Matsusaka Ushi" is Wagyu cattle raised by hand at a farm in an area called Matsusaka in Mie Prefecture. There was even a time when my father, our founder, had this cattle shipped here by train along a 300 km distance from Matsusaka to Tokyo.
Only cows who have not had any calves can be called "Matsusaka Ushi". Because the fat in beef from cows melts at a lower temperature than the fat in beef from bulls, it gives a beef with a deep blend of marbling and meat essence for a melt-in-your-mouth texture. And the flavor of the fat is not overstated, imbuing the beef with a rich taste.
The quality of Wagyu depends on the skill of the commercial cattle farmer raising the calves. Commercial "Matsusaka Ushi" cattle farmers massage their cows, give them beer to increase their appetites, pay special care to the feed and environment for the delicate calves with low stress thresholds, and take very good care of them for a long period of 500 plus days before shipping them out.

--- So, in addition to "Matsusaka Ushi", Japan also has an assortment of other brands of Wagyu, including Kobe Beef , Ohmi Beef, and Yonezawa beef.

Mr. Yoshizawa:Yes, and because we also resell to the Tokyo Meat Market , our meat selection expert selects not only "Matsusaka Ushi", but also all other high quality Wagyu brands Japan-wide. We display the brands of Wagyu selling that day at the storefront of our butcher shop. And combinations of several brands of beef are available in our course meals. Recently, brands being raised in Iwate Prefecture of the cold-winter Tohoku region are garnering attention.
We want our customers to enjoy these wonderful brands of Wagyu in the best condition, so we give special attention to the maturation period at our restaurant as well. We let the beef mature on the bone in a water cooled refrigeration unit for three weeks from receiving day. Doing this increases the depth of flavor in the meat.

--- The high quality Wagyu is also garnering high praise from gourmets worldwide.

Mr. Yoshizawa:Looking at the reactions from foreign guests, I think that there could definitely be a high demand for Wagyu. If exporting rules are established, we want to actively develop a market for Wagyu abroad. There are many different types of food cultures across the globe, and we would love to have the deliciousness of Wagyu enjoyed in all the various spices and cooking methods unique to each country.

mapGinza Yoshizawa
3-9-19 Ginza Chuo-ku Tokyo
Food and Beverage Division
Phone: 03-3542-2981