Taste of Japan: Enjoy premium wagyu beef in sacred setting

Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi
Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi

Taste of Japan: Enjoy premium wagyu beef in sacred setting

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

In Takachiho Town, nestled in northern Miyazaki Prefecture, visitors will find a quiet, mysterious atmosphere with a picturesque landscape brimming with thick green forests and sprawling rice paddies.

The town is home to unique agricultural traditions like forest-grown shiitake mushroom harvesting, pan-roasted tea and more. Another renowned product from the area is the high-quality wagyu beef well-regarded for its fine marbled texture and excellent flavor. 

Try the top wagyu beef inside Kagurayado, a restaurant and souvenir shop set in Takachiho Town’s abundant landscape close to Takachiho Jinja.

As the name indicates, Kagurayado (literally, inn of kagura) accommodates a stage of Kagura (sacred theatrical Shinto dancing and music), along with a tiny museum dedicated to the area’s history and culture.   

Kagurayado is housed inside a 300-year-old folk home set at the top of a steep slope illuminated with bonbori lamps. The centuries’-old interior decorated with shimenawa (sacred straw festoon) and erimono (sacred papercut decorations) did not disappoint during my visit.

The restaurant’s almost-sacred ambiance carried onto the delicious food, which was an almost-religious experience.  My Takachiho wagyu beef included an “Amenomurakumogozen” set, which consisted of broiled rainbow trout, local vegetables with miso, steamed mushrooms, rice and miso soup of mountain vegetables.

The beef arrived with a toban or ceramic plate. This plate ensured every morsel of wagyu was hot, tender and juicy through to the last bite. The second I placed a slice of wagyu on the ceramic plate, the delicious aroma sizzled.

I couldn’t wait any longer and dipped the perfectly medium slice into the soy sauce broth before I devoured it. The flavor and texture of the wagyu was phenomenal. The sizzling wagyu truly warmed me in the Takachiho’s chilly January temps when I visited.

Next, I sampled all the delicious dishes included with my Amenomurakumogozen set. The rainbow trout was crispy and paired well with the fresh miso veggies. The umami of the steamed, fresh mushrooms was a nice addition to the perfectly steamed rice. The dishes in the set were not overly-seasoned, making them a welcome pairing to the star of the show— the Takachiho wagyu. 

The flavors and freshness of the ingredients of the meal and the ambiance at Kagurayado definitely made for a transcendental experience you’d definitely regret missing for yourself. Dining at Kagurayado is available only with a reservation and advanced booking, so make sure to book ahead of your visit!

Location: 1254-3 Oshikata Nanpei, Takachiho Town, Nishiusuki-gun, Miyazaki Prefecture
Email: info@chihonoie.jp
Tel: 0982-72-2115

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