Japan is renowned for the high quality of its beef, producing well-known names like Wagyu or Kobe Beef, however, for those travelling through Northern Gifu there is another option. The beef to be found at Hida, while lesser known, is just as sought after and is on the same par as its more famous counterparts. Japanese Black cattle are specially tended to by their farmers and after having been fattened up for over fourteen months, yield a steak velvety in texture and perfectly marbled. The Hida steaks range in quality from 3rd grade to 5th grade beef and are available at many restaurants in Takayama and its surrounds.
Hida beef can be enjoyed in a multitude of ways, from being hidden in smaller snacks like croquettes or being served on buns, to a tender and juicy steak prepared on the flames. Croquettes, delicious treats made of ground beef and mashed potatoes, are perhaps best enjoyed with one of the local beers. This deep fried treat is popular in the Hida region and can be found at most food stands, souvenir stores and markets anywhere from Shirakawa-go to Gifu City.
Hida Beef Nigiri
Another one of the best ways to enjoy it is beef sushi. On a bed of Hida rice, a sliver of beef served medium rare is prepared nigiri style. At Hida Kotte Beef on Sanmachi Suji, the Sirloin Hida Beef Sushi is accompanied by a small helping of horseradish soy sauce. Alternatively, for the more adventurous, try the Gunkan sushi - diced Hida beef topped with a raw egg. The sushi is plated on a rice cracker, which make it an ideal food to munch on whilst strolling through the quiet streets of Sanmachi. The signature dish at Ryunohitomi is high grade Hida rump steak wrapped around a rice ball - a special take on the traditional beef sushi.
Curry and Stew
Around the corner from the twin Ashinaga statues, is a stand selling steaming hot Hida beef stew. This dish is prepared right in front of your eyes and is served in a piping hot bowl, guaranteed to warm you up for just 600 yen! In Eat Town, the newly opened food court, is the Takayama Curry Shop where you can enjoy the finest Hida beef cutlet topped with Japanese curry over a bed of local rice. Ea Town sits just off Honmachi Street on the opposite side of the river from Miyagawa Morning Market and has a good variety of restaurants to pick and choose from.
Our favourite place to buy the famous Hida Beef Nikuman is at Kihachiro. This popular shop is easy to spot by the crowd of people enjoying this delicious beef steamed bun outside the steamy stand. Whether you eat in or take out, these delicious buns are served warm to the touch and stuffed with the best Hida beef. They are sold all over Northern Gifu and usually cost around 500 yen.
Hida Beef Burger
Made from the finest beef, ground and rolled by hand, the burgers at Hanamizuki are among the best in northern Hida. The restaurant is conveniently located at the base of the Kajibashi Bridge. These delicious buns can be enjoyed to take out but we prefer to eat in beside large windows with pleasant views of the Miyagawa River. These 100% beef burgers are topped with local vegetables and covered in a sweet apple sauce. CENTER4 HAMBURGERS is another popular burger spot with a wide range of toppings available, from liver pate to avocado salsa, which is best enjoyed alongside a chunky milkshake.