- Through long-term fattening
- we create superb Hiroshima beef
- with an exceptional taste that is beyond compare
- Our prime brand of Hiroshima beef was born from our wish to have customers enjoy the most delicious Hiroshima beef possible.
Fed with quality food – which includes natural spring water, rice straw harvested from Hiroshima Prefecture, and a staple of carefully selected grains – our beef cattle are fattened over a long period of at least 32 months (974 days) which is over 100 days more than the standard fattening period.
- We use customized fattening methods catered to each cattle for optimal results. The best beef can only be produced when raised in a stress-free environment, that is why our Wagyu beef is top quality.
Our care and wishes are interwoven with Sakakiyama Gyu's 3 defining features
About Sakakiyama Gyu
- By investing more time, cost, and labor,
- we redefine
- the “Wagyu” experience
- Although Hiroshima Wagyu beef is often lumped into one category, there is a wide range of available prices and meat grades.
After comparing the taste of hundreds of beef from Hiroshima and national Wagyu brands (Matsusaka, Yonezawa, etc.), it is my conclusion that the essential conditions for raising top quality beef is dependent upon the hard work and cost put into a long-term beef fattening regimen of at least 32 months, mixing the cattle's feed in one's own farm, and maintaining barns that allow the cattle to live in a stress-free environment.
- United by the desire to provide customers the best tasting Hiroshima beef, passionate beef farmers and meat wholesalers throughout the prefecture came together to create the finest Hiroshima beef brand 榊山牛 “Sakakiyama Gyu”.
- Upon the first bite, the Wagyu beef's aroma (known as “Wagyu Kou”) permeates the senses as the marbled meat melts on the tongue with a rich flavor with every chew – a sensation on par with even some of Japan's top-tier brand-name Wagyu.
What defines Sakakiyama Gyu beef
- The type of beef used is Japanese Black “kuroge washu” heifers.
- After fattening for a long period of over 32 months, the meat on the bone must have excellent appearance and quality with fat grade 4 or higher as defined by the Japan Meat Grading Association.
- The cattle must be registered by a cattle breeder residing in Hiroshima Prefecture certified by the Sakakiyama Gyu Beef Promotion Council.
- The cattle must be fattened in the approved method with a self-blended feed of rice straw and designated grains produced in Hiroshima Prefecture certified by the Sakakiyama Gyu Beef Promotion Council.
- 100 days more than the standard period,
- our “long-term fattening” process requires cattle to be fattened
- for over 32 months (974 days).
- The fattening period for beef cattle in Hiroshima Prefecture is typically 24 to 28 months.
However, during the cattle's growth, free amino acids such as lactone and oleic acid (components affecting the beef's flavor and aroma) as well as inosinic acid, glutamic acid, etc. (components of umami) take stronger effect after exceeding 29 months.
And it is said that unsaturated fatty acids (high quality fat) begin to change in the cattle's body after 30 months of age.
Most of today's beef sold in retail stores and restaurants are not sufficiently flavorful with low quality marbling that leaves a margarine-like greasy aftertaste. This is why it can be said that most appreciate beef solely for the tenderness of the meat and beautiful marbled appearance.
- Sakakiyama Gyu has a strict fattening period of a minimum of 32 months to ensure excellent flavor and umami throughout the meat.
Our beef is very tender with high quality marbling which makes it melt like broth with an incredible aroma in one's mouth. Each bite is full of umami.
- The long fattening process requires enormous cost, time, and skill, allowing for the production of only a few units per month, making this one of the rarest beef today.
About our process
- Bajou livestock farm
- Representative Director
- BAJOU KOUJI
- I always thank each and every cattle
- ~Each and every cattle is fed with custom-made feed~
17 years ago, I used to be an office worker before I dedicated my life as a cattle fattening farmer shortly after my father's sudden passing (who was the former owner of our farm). Though I faced hardships, it is thanks to the valuable experience and knowledge I gained along the way that has helped me grow to bring me to where I am today. When I was asked “why don't you try long-term cattle raising?” the idea genuinely intrigued me and I took this commitment to heart.
The cattle are given ample personal space in the barn where they are fed one by one. Although it takes five times the effort and time compared to the usual feeding method, this makes it easier to carefully monitor each cattle's appetite and detect any changes in their physical condition. To determine the most suitable room allocation, the cattle are grouped based on their unique personalities – from the affectionate and friendly ones to the slightly mischievous ones – and their compatibility with one another. Thanks to the extension of shipment deadlines, more time can be spent to raise them without urgent haste.
Since the cattle are born pre-determined to become meat for consumption at the end of its life, I make sure that they are raised with utmost care and live in great comfort and luxury. On their last day, I always thank each and every cattle before sending them off.
- The challenges of the long-term fattening process
- - DIFFICULTY -
- The long-term fattening process of Wagyu cattle is a truly difficult task.
This job requires not only fattening the cattle but ensuring that the cattle is kept in optimal condition at all times. Due to the enormous cost, labor, and skill that are required, most cattle fattening farmers are unable to take on the risk of the long-term fattening method.
- Furthermore, due to the dark ruby red color that is characteristic of long-term fattened beef, it is not uncommon for it to work against the current beef grading criteria such as grades A4 and A5 which emphasizes the marbled appearance of the meat.
The beef must not only feel tender and look good but also have a great aroma and taste delicious with superb flavor. Raising top grade Wagyu cattle is not a simple and straightforward task.
- Commitment to managing the physical condition of the cattle
- - HEALTH CARE -
- Even a half day delay in detection can cause a cattle to fall ill and affect the meat quality.
We continuously house over 100 cattle of different ages in our barn. Their first health check of the day starts when the cattle eat their first meal in the morning. To raise healthy cattle we take several precautions, checking for any sick cattle, cattle that are under stress, groups that are fighting, and so on.
- It is said that to ensure the beef's quality, it is crucial to take immediate action and not overlook even the most subtle changes in the cattle's physical and emotional condition.
- How we feed our cattle
- - FEED -
- Sakakiyama Gyu's cattle feed is made with our unique blend of straw, corn, etc. harvested from local areas such as Shobara – they are fed a fresh batch for every meal.
I've continued to use the same unaltered methods that have been passed down to me, and by evaluating the quality of the meat, I believe that feeding the cattle such good feed is what contributes to the beef's delicious flavor.
- The cattle also drink natural spring water collected from Kumano, so the cattle fully enjoy rich umami and nourishment from the bountiful lands of many corners of Hiroshima.
The key to delicious beef
Delicious beef fat
is achieved with a low melting point and plentiful umami components
- Sakakiyama Gyu's beef fat ratio is
- one of the highest in the world
People say that marbled meat is often hard to digest.
This is commonly the case of beef that was produced with the short-term fattening method which contains fat with a high melting point.
Most marbled beef is shipped after 24 months of raising the cattle, and although it looks delicious, it does not have an ideal meat quality.
The average human body temperature is 36°C, which makes the fat of most distributed domestic beef (with an average melting point of 29.9°C) feel like swallowing margarine. The fat of Wagyu beef melts more easily at a lower melting point of 25.9°C.
The melting point of the unsaturated fatty acids (oleic acid, etc.) that Sakakiyama Gyu's beef is composed of has a melting point even lower than that of Japan's top Wagyu brand (17°C) with a melting point of 16.4°C – the lowest in the nation and even overseas – this is why our beef is so gentle on the stomach.
Sakakiyama Gyu's beef liquefies the moment it hits the tongue, turning into what feels like a flavorful broth concentrated with delicious umami.
- Providing 146% of the umami content compared to the average Wagyu beef,
- our Wagyu beef provides an exceptionally rich source of umami.
Beef derives its flavor from the amount of amino acids (umami components) contained in the protein within the lean meat.
Sakakiyama Gyu's beef has an especially high concentration of “glutamic acid” which is where kelp derives its umami from as well. Through analysis, we learned that compared to the umami composition of the average domestic Wagyu beef; Sakakiyama Gyu's beef has 1.5 times the amount of glutamic acid, 1.3 times the amount of free amino acids, and 1.4 times the amount of peptides.
Please enjoy our flavorful beef that overflows with rich umami with every bite.
◆ Umami components comparison ※Analysis: Bureau Veritas Japan
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