From the mind of LaCole

Posts tagged “Kobe

You won’t know what steak is until you visit Kobe, Japan

If you want the best steak you’ll ever have in life, it’s time to book a flight to Kobe, Japan. I am a steak lover so it would be unheard of if I didn’t try the world’s famous Kobe beef steak. As part of our visit to Kobe City University and our Kobe city tour, the Kobe beef dinner was optional. But to Dr. C’s surprise, everyone in the group was willing to dish out money and try the steak. My excitement to try it was through the roof, while my wallet was probably crying.

As said from the Wikipedia website, “Kobe beef refers to cuts of beef from the black Tajima-ushi breed of Wagyu cattle, raised according to strict tradition in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. The meat is generally considered to be a delicacy, renowned for its flavour, tenderness, and fatty, well-marbled texture. Kobe beef can be prepared as steak, sukiyaki, shabu shabu, sashimi, teppanyaki and more.” It is said that farmers higher workers to massage the cows backsides to improve the meat quality. If that’s not high-class then I don’t know what is.

They cook the steaks on these metal plates and covered with onions. They place the metal plates on a grill and cook on an open fire, while the chef sprays a liquid to increase the fire for cooking. When they serve the meal it is so hot and spewing oils, so they give you a full body bib for safety.

Usually when eating steak, you expect for there to be a fork and a steak knife. Not here, all you need are CHOPSTICKS. Yes, chopsticks, the meat is so juicy, so tender, that you can cut and eat with chopsticks. When I tell you that it was the BEST STEAK OF MY LIFE, I mean it (and it was cooked medium well). No extra seasoning, no A1 sauce, no nothing it was fine just the way it was, and that’s how a steak should be. And worth every cent of yen I spent.

Now in America, I’ve had my share of not so expensive steak to top tier expensive steaks, and none have compared. Either they need seasonings, or A1 sauce, or the meat was too tough to chew. I honestly can say that when visiting again (in the future), I will have another bite or three.


Kobe City University Visit

While in Japan we visited three universities. The second university, Kobe City University was by far my favorite. After about an hour train ride and a short bus ride we arrive at the university. When we first arrived it was lunch time for the students, so we split up with the students of the Japanese class; two Japanese student to one MSU student. I was lucky enough to have three students, Miwako (Mimi), Masami, and Anna.

They showed me to the cafeteria and university shop where I purchased a rice ball and, almonds and some peach tea. We then went into the courtyard for lunch and to get to know each other better. Since they are a school of foreign studies they know a little bit more English than our first university visit. I tried a rice ball for the first time, and opened it up wrong, they were there to help me, and it was filled with salmon. I didn’t like it because it was cold, I would have preferred it warm maybe.

After getting to know each other and taking a few pictures it was time to round up and head to a class room for presentations. A few Japanese students presented and two of our students, Tiffany and Candice, presented about twitter.

Wrapping up presentations, we had the honor of meeting with the President of Kobe City University. He was a very lively man, and I enjoy our conversation and his encouraging words. We had a little free time after, so Allan and I pulled a few students away for interviews for our video project. It was cut a little short because it was time for a city tour of Kobe with some of the students from Kobe City University. Miwako, Masami, and Anna were among those students.

We first stopped at the Ikuta Shrine. I was told it is possibly one of the oldest shrines in the country. It was very beautiful with a bright orange entrance gate, and red/orange accents on the building. We of course took a group photo in front of the gate and proceed up to the Honden (Main Hall). After entering for 100 yen you could get your love life read. Many students tried their luck, I believe ignorance is bliss (lol). We then took fun jumping photos in front of the shrine. I love in the culture of Japan that you can laugh and takes pictures at shrine without anyone shunning you. In America, religion is so serious and quiet.

From photo ops they pointed us in the direction of a Kobe steak restaurant. That is where we said our goodbye, exchanged emails, facebooks, and twitters, and it was time for dinner. I very well enjoyed our visit to Kobe City University and having a tour guided by some of their students.