Wagyu Olympics held amid growing demand for luxury beef

By Megumi Lim

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Thomson Reuters 2017.

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

The most expensive beef went for 54,001 yen ($498) per kilo, and the most moderate for 3,241 yen.

Sorry, in my opinion there is no beef in the world worth THAT much, sorry my mistake, no piece of fat-laden beef. Everyone is paying for the fat, not the meat!

Some marbling, fine, adds flavor, too much....well, people know what butter tastes like!

Though "seed cattle" winners at the five-yearly event,

So is this event held 5 times a year? Or is it one every 5 years?

12 ( +12 / -0 )

In 2016, beef was Japan's top export in the agricultural and livestock category, raking in 13.6 billion yen ($125 million).

For a country that "prides" itself on having the "best" beef, "best" fruits, "tastiest" vegetables, "best" rice on the planet, and just about anything else that is "Made in Japan" their export numbers are pretty low in my opinion.

If they "think" that everything here is so great, one would also think that these producers could make a hell of a lot more money exporting them overseas, instead of raping the domestic customer!

Then again, it's all just an image that the people here get fooled by and are not given an opportunity to shop and compare against foreign products because these very same producers have a lock on the market and, again in my opinion, literally fear the opening of their markets because.........there are too many "better than best" products out in the world that they don't want to compete against!

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Sorry, in my opinion there is no beef in the world worth THAT much, sorry my mistake, no piece of fat-laden beef. Everyone is paying for the fat, not the meat!

Agree!! I prefer red meat to red and white meat! I'll take Canadian/Aussie/Kiwi beef any day over Japanese beef.  Too much fat.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

This is BS.... a growing demand but Japan just slapped the USA with higher tariffs because that growing demand was mainly for lower priced imported beef. I mean... really, if the demand were growing for domestic beef do you think they'd have increased the tariff. I was watching people here in Japan buying beef.... most of them went for Aussie or U.S. Beef because the domestic beef was far too expensive and full of FAT. It tastes good but many Japanese do not like the increased fat.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Yubaru...THANK YOU for saying's what I feel...but just couldn't put into words.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I stay away from food like this, because I don't want my heart to look like that steak

2 ( +3 / -1 )

As Yubaru said its the "best" because people are told it's the best, and with no comparable foods available of course it's the "best". Mmm wonder how many were actually born in Japan or Australia?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

All research evidence worldwide and in Japan points to meat and dairy for the top 15 diseases in human beings. This increases dementia and diabetes for example. Fish also expected to have a major collapse.

As diets shift towards whole food plant based it'll be interesting to see what happens to Japanese industries. I think the cooking skills in Japan are amazing so there's no reason to think it would be negative, just a shift.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yeah, we don't want any fat or flavor in our meat. Keep it a solid block of hockey puck.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Anything is worth as much as what the consumer is willing to pay. I personally have no intention of eating this stuff, expensive or not.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Economically unsound, what is the point in breeding a product that is and probably will remain appreciated or consumed by only a select few who frequent the most expensive restaurants or acquire an income that could budget for such extravagance?  The resource and experience necessary, alone with the means of production are wasted.   

 Is it any wonder that ordinary hard working families turn to affordable imported beef?

 "I really can't believe it, I'm so happy," said 69-year-old Tadanao Sato from Oita Prefecture.

Tadanao Sato has not just decided to shoot J agriculture in the foot , he's elected to blow one toe off at a time.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

For some price perspective, there is $300+ beef noodle soup in Taiwan using well-marbled beef:

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A lot of hate towards Japanese beef above me but I absolutely love it. It is expensive and something I eat once in a while whether it be for an event or family outing. A little fat sometimes won't put me in the morgue the following day.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The price is quite expensive.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Im not a foodie, im not driven by the meats taste or texture. I just want food for energy. I dont have any financial issues to prevent me from buying the meat but i find it ridicules to pay that much for something that will be a brown pile of .... a few hours later. Just like cheap meat.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Only the wealthy and politicians that are entertained by the wealthy can eat this beef. Reduce import taxes and open the market for good American beef. Let the not-so-wealthy also eat good beef. Japan must be fair to the American beef export market as well as the Japanese people.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Wagyu is nice very occasionally but not to my taste all the time.  Too fatty.  And way too expensive.  This type of event if just nonsense anyway.  "Best Wagyu-ist"??

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why does everyone assume Japanese beef = a lot of fat?

majority of the beef here are not like that, you can definitely get lean only beef in japan as well.

And also don't automatically assume Japanese beef = high end expensive stuff. I have bought a piece of steak at my groceries for like 900yen which is only plus 100yen from US beef.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Yusuke.... what country do you live in.... because it is not Japan. Take a look at Japanese domestic beef... it is roughly half fat on average and more than twice the cost.

2 ( +4 / -2 )


I'm not a fan of red meat at all, but as I understand it, not all Japanese beef is "wagyu", which is especially fatty and expensive.

I'm sure there's leaner, cheaper stuff available, but it's not called "wagyu".

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Every statistic is available to view below:

Monthly statistics of agriculture, forestry and fisheries

Whether Kochi or Miyagi, J agriculture whole prices are rising,  production costs flow through the supply chain and manifest in inflated prices that ultimately have to be met by the consumer.

For Kochi hard pressed consumers, there is another factor at play, a noticeable ageing of the agricultural farming community.

I am sure these proud Beef Farmers at the Wagyu Olympic are undoubted masters of their product.

However the 'raking in 13.6 billion yen ($125 million)' statistic hides some painful truths, when taking account for the first time in 14 years Finance Minister Taro Aso justify having to raise beef tariffs from 38.5 to 50% until March 2018, then fails to introduce any measure, reform, or policy to the sector that will encourage a new generation to replace these proud aging famers.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Usual Japanese chest-puffing via corporate spin and government protection. Japanese meat is too expensive and not that great quite frankly. But just like rice, vegetables and thousands of other products and services, foreign options are kept out or handicapped.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Veggie my butt I am a meat eating vegetable.

Don't eat much beef mostly chicken and pork though. Can't stand the fatty beef but local US-beef is either low quality or prepared wrong?

Give my SA or Southern America's beef any. Day.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wagyu is probably the biggest food scam of all time. Grass fed beef is both healthier and tastier.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wagyu is probably the biggest food scam of all time. Grass fed beef is both healthier and tastier.

People here don't even consider the "healthy" when consuming wagyu, that word does not exist in the same sentence with wagyu either.

No one cares about grass fed, and to be honest, it's all of matter of personal choice, there is no right or wrong. It's just your opinion that it's tastier, others will disagree and they would be right too!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wagyu is probably the biggest food scam of all time. Grass fed beef is both healthier and tastier.

Biggest food scam of all time? I think that might be the non-fat fad.

You probably didn't know that the number one side effect of too little fat in the diet is reduced brain function.


0 ( +1 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites