Tokyo locals are “tourists” in Kobe
Image credit: Google Maps
My first time in Kobe
I packed an extra portable charger with replaceable batteries so that I won’t be lost in Kobe. Visiting a new place even in your own country could be a bit of an adventure.
My husband was invited to a wedding in Kobe. This was the perfect opportunity (or excuse) to plan a trip to Universal Studios Japan, which is located right next to Kobe.
But before we dive into our Universal Studios Japan tour, we (meaning my two boys and I) had to spend 5 hours in Kobe, while my husband attended the wedding. Since I’m not much of a planner, I made a very vague itinerary
- Eat lunch near Sannomiya Station
- Go to Kobe Oji Zoo
- Check in at our hotel
#1 – Eat lunch near Sannomiya Station
With two boys, I walked around the city of Sannomiya to look for a good place for lunch. I have no idea why “Kobe Beef” wasn’t one of the options I had in mind, but when I saw this, I felt, how dumb of me to miss the only chance to eat Kobe Beef in Kobe?
I am very skeptical about these tourist guide counters, but I had no where else to turn. A man with a big smile welcomed us to the counter. Regretting that I hadn’t done my research, I asked
Which restaurant would you recommend for small children?
pointing my finger at my two boys chasing each other around my legs. The man selected a few, and I just pointed at one close by.
As I walked following the man’s instructions, there was another man with an even bigger smile, holding a huge menu saying
KOBE BEEF LUNCH ¥1,500
And I immediately thought
SCAM – Run away!
But I was curious, so I asked without hesitation.
What’s the catch? How can Kobe Beef be ¥1,500? It’s just impossible.
And the man explained to me that this IS real Kobe Beef, and that the only catch is that the meat served is only 60 grams (2 oz.) So I laughed, he laughed, and I told him that if he doesn’t write that on the board it’s a scam. But come to think of it, 60 grams is actually the perfect size for my boys whose attention span is 10 minutes max, and since we are going to the zoo (where I KNOW there’s not going to be decent food), why not get my boys that ¥1,500 lunch, and I can go for a little treat for myself? So I decided to take my chances!
Please don’t ask me what Spider Man is doing there.
When we entered the restaurant, everybody was overly polite which was very uncomfortable (I want to say sketchy, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt). With a huge smile, the waiter explained the different Kobe Beef cuts and prices, ranging from ¥5,000 to over ¥80,000 ($800 USD!!!)
I laughed gain, and told him that I talked to the man outside and we were just here fore the ¥1,500 lunch for my boys and I would have something double the size. He politely took the order, and we waited for our lunch.
The ¥1,500 Lunch (60 grams / 2 oz)
This is what the ¥1,500 lunch looks like. It also comes with miso soup, rice, and a salad.
This was the perfect size for my boys. Definitely not for hungry boys over the age of 6.
I think this one was the 120 gram size (4.2 oz), ¥3,700. For this one, I ordered the salad, rice, and soup set separately for ¥800, so it would be ¥4,500 total. It was fulfilling, tasted amazing, and I have nothing to complain except for the very sketchy atmosphere.
My thoughts on my first Kobe Beef experience
If you have an average appetite and don’t do you research on the quality of authentic Kobe Beef, you WILL feel scammed. BUT, the quality of the beef here at YAZAWA is unquestionable. It is amazing quality. Everybody must keep in mind that the quality comes with a big check, and you can’t cheat the system. Fortunately, my assumption was right about my boys. They LOVED the beef, but 60 grams was actually the perfect size for them since it comes with soup and rice. Mine was the perfect size as well (I have small appetite).
I am only saying all these nice things because I knew what I was getting. If I didn’t confront the man about the ¥1,500 lunch and expected a good Kobe Beef lunch for ¥1,500 and was presented with the choice of a 60 gram steak or a $800 steak, I would be pissed. VERY PISSED.
Lesson I learned
If you want to eat Kobe Beef, accept the Big Check
Don’t try to get the cheapest deal. It will always have a catch. Kobe Beef is like going for a Cadillac, where there are still amazing cars for a lot less. If you are NOT a meat lover, there are tons of great wagyu beef you can get for way less, and still experience a fulfilling meal. If you are a meat lover and you want to try Kobe Beef no matter what, GO ALL IN! Don’t be stingy. Have the best Kobe Beef. Save up, use your savings, do what you have to do.
Do what I did. Ask.
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. I know those of you who are reading this are probably not Japanese speakers. Most of these places will have English speakers. Ask if you have questions. Ask about the price. Ask about what comes with the deal. If you don’t get it, forget it. The best way is to do research before hand. But if you are like me and like to plan things as you go, ask questions.
What I would do next time
I am definitely a fan of Kobe Beef now. What I would do next time is to do more research. I want to find out where I can get a good course meal with my family and try different restaurants. This one in particular was not baby / toddler / child nor family friendly. The restaurant was more focused on making it a seem very high-end, catered to couples and special occasions. Hospitality was good, meaning nothing really bothered me, but I will not be going back there with my whole family.
Name : Kobegyu YAZAWA Hankyu Sannomiya
Genre: Kobe Beef
Budget (How much we spent) : ¥9,000 (1 adult, 2 children)
Phone # :078-322-0830
Closest Station :
• Sannomiya Station – Hankyu Line
Lunch (Weekdays) : 11:00 ~ 4:00 PM Last Order 3:00 PM
Dinner (Weekdays) : 5:00 ~ 11:00 PM Last Order 10:30 PM
Open all day on weekends : 11:00 AM ~ 11:00 PM Last Order 10:30 PM
Closed on : Check website
Diaper Changing Space : None
Nursing Rooms : None
Private Rooms : None (there are box seats)
High Chair : No
Stroller Friendly?: 0/5
Baby Friendly?: 0/5
Toddler Friendly?: 0/5
Child Friendly? : 1/5
Family Friendly?: 1/5
Foreign Language Assistance?: English and Chinese available
Smoking : Non smoking
Kids Menu : None.
*This post was NOT sponsored by Kobegyu YAZAWA Sannomiya
*Please leave a comment if you have questions, comments, or updates