Yesterday was catch-up day. I spent the entire day in my room in my pajamas catching up on email, updating the blog, uploading photos, doing laundry and re-organizing my suitcase. (Our hotel had laundry facilities on the second floor, so that was very convenient – although I did have to get dressed for that part.)
In the evening, we had special plans for dinner. But first, some background.
According to an article entitled, “Food’s Biggest Scam: The Great Kobe Beef Lie,” posted on Forbes.com in 2012, Americans have been scammed on the whole Kobe beef thing. It’s shocking, I know. Here is an excerpt from the article written by Larry Olmsted:
You cannot buy Japanese Kobe beef in this country. Not in stores, not by mail, and certainly not in restaurants. No matter how much you have spent, how fancy a steakhouse you went to, or which of the many celebrity chefs who regularly feature “Kobe beef” on their menus you believed, you were duped. I’m really sorry to have to be the one telling you this, but no matter how much you would like to believe you have tasted it, if it wasn’t in Asia you almost certainly have never had Japan’s famous Kobe beef.
The article goes on to explain why; it’s very interesting. Here is a link if you are interested:
An update to the story entitled, “The New Truth About Kobe Beef …” was posted in 2014 advising that a minuscule amount of Kobe beef is now available in the U.S. but only at select locations.
Between the time the USDA changed its rules last August and the end of 2012, exactly five head of Kobe beef cattle had been shipped to the United States – five. Through the first 11 months of 2013, the U.S. received just 17 head of Kobe beef, never more than six in a single month and often none at all.
Thanks to recent changes, the single easiest way to eat real Kobe beef in the U.S. with confidence is to visit the Wynn Las Vegas resort . . . As of December 15, 2013, Wynn became the first U.S. end-user certified by the Kobe Beef Council as an authorized restaurant partner (a program that also includes Nobu in Hong Kong and the Sands resort in Singapore). This is a relatively new program outside of Japan that should eventually provide much greater levels of consumer protection at restaurants, and the Council is currently in talks with some additional U.S. eateries, including at least one in New York, but as of this writing, Wynn is the sole such outlet in the nation.
Here is a link to the full article:
Last tidbit of information from Wikipedia:
The increase in popularity of Japanese beef in the U.S. has led to the creation of “Kobe-STYLE” beef, taken from domestically raised Wagyu cross-bred with Angus cattle, to meet the demand. The meat produced by these cross-breeds is DIFFERENT from the “authentic” Kobe beef …
The proliferation of beef outside Japan marketed as Kobe beef is an issue for Kobe beef farmers. Due to a lack of legal recognition of the Kobe beef trademark in the U.S., it is possible to sell meat that is incorrectly labeled as Kobe beef.
So, by now you have probably guessed what our special dinner plans where. Stan made reservations at one of the highly recommended restaurants IN KOBE for us to have a fabulous dinner of authentic Kobe beef. Let me just say, it was worth the train ride and the pricey price tag! The meat literally melts in your mouth. It was amazing. I am ruined for life. How will I ever be satisfied with plain old angus beef again? Looks like I will be traveling to Wynn, Las Vegas for dinner more often. Who’s in?
Today was moving day.
As is the custom, we were met at the train station by Stan’s cousins, gifts in hand! Seriously! We have no more room in our suitcases! We were all reluctant to say good-bye; we so enjoyed our time together. With lots of hugs and promises to meet again soon, Stan and I were off to Tokyo.
The train ride was about three hours so I relaxed and spent some time listening to the Word and watching the scenery whizzing past me.
Our first stop after checking in to our hotel was our traditional dinner at Hard Rock, Tokyo.
It’s nice to be here!
P.S. I did not take a single picture yesterday or today so this post is just an update. However, Stan took this beautiful photo yesterday in Osaka.