If you watch a cooking show or anything on tv where food is being reviewed,
you always hear that phrase don’t you, “melt in your mouth”.
It melts in my mouth.
It seems to be a substitute for actually thinking up an original opinion.
I mean, Why bother thinking when you can just say;
“Oh this salmon melts in my mouth” “How extraordinary!”
So forgive me, when I tell you, that few things beat the sensation of having high grade, Japanese wagyu - beef melt in your mouth
- because it actually does, due to the high quantities of unsaturated fat,
streaking through the meat, giving it a beautiful marbled texture.
And because the fat melts at a low temperature, the beef dissolves in your mouth like butter.
That’s right…It..er..it melts in your mouth.
Now the most well known brand of Wagyu beef is Kobe beef
- but there is another level considered to by by food critics, to be superior and it’s called Matsusaka Beef.
In fact one of the most expensive cows in history was sold in Matsusaka for a staggering 50 million yen.
Many people know that the secret to amazing Wagyu beef is the quality and care shown to the cattle.
That story you may heard of cattle being fed beer and given massages to help stimulate blood flow really is real.
And that was me massaging the cows. That what it really lookes like.
And tomorrow I’ll be accompanying my friend Ryotaro to the the restaurant which owns the farm, that originally popularized that method,
to try some Matsuska beef first hand.
It's gonna be awesome.
- the only thing is it’s in the city of Matsusaka about an hour from Nagoya,
and from Sendai (where we are now) to Nagoya isn't exactly driving distance we’re going to have get up early tomorrow morning,
fly down, in some sort of upbeat montage sequence.
Good view. Excellent view. Mt. Fuji.
You prefer boat or train?
Boat or train?
So this morning, I've been on a plain. boat, bus, and now car.
We're finally here in Matsusaka city, in Mie prefecture.
About to try Matsusaka beef, the most expensive beef in Japan.
No, not quite.
What do you mean?
Before that, we need to climb up the cliff.
We need to climb up the cliff. What does that even mean?
Climbing up the cliff. You know what I mean.
Climbing up the cliff. You know what... I don't know what you mean.
What are you on about?
We need to be hungry enough to be able to appreciate the beef, right?
I am hungry enough, I've just been on a plane for an hour, and a boat, and a bus and a car
No no no no no, we need to be starving to the death
I am starving to the death
See, look at your belly, you need to exercise more
Ohhh he didn't see last week's video
This is weird ain't it?
It looks like a hand coming out of the mountain
And there's a shrine under the hand, and that's the way you actually climb up
Oh my god! Good luck with that!
I'll be watching you!
You're coming too!
No, I'll be watching you as you'll be climbing up, jumping off from the hand
Ise Sanjo is a mountain once used by monks to carry out spiritual training with a small shrine nestles beneath the cliff
However to get to it you have to free climb half way up a cliff which is considered to be half of the training
In fact Ise Sanjo literally translates a Powerful Mountain Top
I spoke with a 71st generation monk, Eisho Segi, the owner of the ... temple
about what I could expect from climbing up the mountain
I'm very strong
Chris! Should we go for it?
There's a chain
There are no safety ropes just a slippery metal chain
and whilst we had an experienced guide he was kitted out with climbing shorts and boots with a pair of gloves
I on the other hand had worn down trainers, a pair of jeans, I was unprepared
There's like no ropes attached here
If I fall, it's game over isn't it?
What happened next was possibly one of the most dangerous things I've ever done
Go Chris! Go Chris!
"very good!" you hear that?
I didn't hear it!
This is mental!
If you fall here
Yes, you're dead!
This is scary
There's no cable
There's no safety cable
I'm worried here
There's a vertical climb in my way
That climb...saying that was one of the scariest things I've ever done, that is not an understatement
There's no safety cables, you're literally on a vertical cliff
with a chain and it is pretty scary
This looks like the Lion King
"Help me Brother!"
"Long live the King!"
This is not a climb suitable for anyone with vertigo
but the view is worth it, right?
If you survive it is quite pleasant
Matsusaka region is one of the largest growers of tea in all of Japan and there was no way we were gonna pass through the area
without trying some ourselves
On a scale of 1 to Picturesque views this is pretty picturesque
Like a 9...maybe a 10!
Don't know really but it's pretty damn cool!
I'm enjoying this view!
I'm a little bit on edge because there's a huge hornet over there, and if you don't know what a hornet is it's like a giant bee
Imagine a bee that got out of control, like the Godzilla of Bees
When you get stung by it, well it's not a happy end to the story, is it
Risking my life for a second time in this video, first falling off a climb, now filming next to a huge hornet
But again it's worth it for the view
So this region is the 3rd largest growers of tea in all of Japan
And..fucking hell I heard it take off
Who makes all these insects? Where do they come from??
Anyway let's go get some tea
So apparently this is the right temperature, 60°, to pour into the tea
So having mentally and spiritually fallen down a cliff to my death, there's no better way to relax your mind than drinking some Japanese tea
In a sort of traditional Japanese...drinking tea way
It's a bit difficult but actually there's a sheet on how to actually do it
It feels more like a ritual than drinking tea right?
Yeah it is! With this timer, and green tea and just..It's all ritually organized ...order
Now actually this makes yourself very special
Preparing the drink is as important as drinking it
When I look at this it's seems more like a way of relaxing, you know, rather than just drinking tea, there's a spiritual element involved
in a way that you don't get by downing a bottle of Coca-Cola
Or even green tea out of a bottle
The tea ceremony is a lot more than just drinking tea is it
That is the stuff of nightmares
The restaurant Wadakin dates back to the late 1800s where it started out as a beef shop, and today it's widely considered to be the home of Matsusaka Beef
with its very own farm to maintain quality control
I haven't been to a restaurant with this kind of famous reputaion, apparently it's very well-known throughout Japan and it looks like a hotel!
Given the size of it!
It's like a 5 story building!
For a restaurant!
So this floor has got ten rooms, it's VIP rooms, and underneath, like the 3rd floor, 2nd floor, they have got 20 rooms each
We were given an almost intimidatingly large private room with our very own cook and a charcoal fireplace in the center of our table
So we've got 2 slices of very thin beef, coz it's Sukiyaki, it uses really thin beef, it cooks really fast
It's 13200 yen for just 2 thin slices so pretty expensive, it's the most expensive beef I've ever had
You an also get steak here as well
And it's 320 dollars for a cut of sirloin steak...Matsusaka Sirloin Steak...320 dollars....very expensive!!
Even the charcoal at Wadakin is special, being very easy to light giving off very little smoke
And enabling us to enjoy our meal in our tatami mat room
The beef is added to the pot while it's still cold and marinated with sugar and thick soy sauce
As the slices of beef cook rapidly in the pot
And finally the mouth watering beef is dipped into a beaten raw egg
to help bring out the flavor of the juicy beef, the sweet taste of the sugar and the salty taste of the soy sauce
This is something that, you know, I've been dreaming of eating
As this like the number one beef, the most expensive beef in Japan
You're gonna break your neck in a minute with all this nodding
The sukiyaki, the flavor of the soy sauce, and everything is just all perfect!
Speechless! Well i'm speaking now..
Speechless but I'm speaking..
How is it?
That's amazing! The fact that it just tore off so easily...
I don't have to really chew it it's just breaks up in my mouth
I know that's what you were going to say
Oh no!! I enjoyed it so quickly it's over!
When I picture steak or beef, I picture chewing a lot, there was no chewing involved it sort of dissolved on impact
And the egg really brought out the flavor and quite nice sweet taste to it thanks to the sugar and the sauce that was put on
And it tasted better than steak
because it had a lot more flavor to it
It's so complex isn't it the flavor
This is the most complex beef I've ever had
10 out of 10!
Would buy again...but can't because it's too expensive
Especially in this atmosphere
If you're a lover of beef, Matsusaka beef should be at the very top of your list to try
If you're interested in visiting any of the places we visited in this video you can find the details in the description box below
Amazing what you can get done when you get up really early at 5 a.m. isn't it?
You can see Mount Fuji, you can nearly fall down a cliff, you can nearly get stung by a hornet overlooking a beautiful field of tea
And you can go to the best steak restaurants in Japan
All if you get up at 5 a.m!
You can go from Tokyo Station to Matsusaka in just 3 hours via bullet train to Nagoya and then switching to a local train
or the area is easy to access by Chubu International Airport by boat
Many thanks for watching guys, I'll see you next time!
Go Ryotaro, get closer!
You can do it!
You have to walk closer to it, mate
Go ahead, go ahead!
We're a team!
I thought that you were immune to the hornet
You told me that before!
Immune to the hornet?
When did I say that?! "Immune to the hornet!"
You said it yesterday!