Kagoshima Prefecture is preparing to welcome more gourmet-related business events groups this year, following its exemplary performance at the latest national wagyu beef competition, held in October 2022.
The southern Kyushu prefecture took first place in six of the nine divisions in the National Japanese Beef Ability Expo, making it the best-performing prefecture in Japan.
Wagyu farmers from 41 of Japan’s 47 prefectures entered the expo, also dubbed the Wagyu Olympics as it occurs every five years, making it the most competitive contest since its launch in 1966.
Kagoshima was named top for best breeding bull and took gold in the Breeders’ Division, considered the most significant as it judges cattle’s breeding ability throughout three generations, prompting Prefectural Governor Koichi Shiota to say: “Kagoshima has, without question, the best wagyu beef in Japan.”
The recognition has placed Kagoshima firmly on the radar of foodies both at home and abroad. As such, the local business events industry is seeing a rise in related inquiries and bookings, particularly from incentive groups keen to try Kagoshima wagyu (also known as Kagoshima kuroushi) and culinary professionals interested in learning how and why Kagoshima wagyu has become so renowned.
“We believe that Kagoshima’s victory in the Wagyu Olympics has increased its attractiveness as a tourist destination,” a Japan Convention Bureau spokesperson told TTGmice.
The prefecture’s other culinary offerings are also expected to benefit, including “food-making experiences which are educational and apt for team-building”, she said.
In Kagoshima, business events groups can also join tours of bonito flake production facilities or be guided in making their own bonito broth.
“Dashi (stock) is considered one of the essential ingredients in Japanese cuisine, and Kagoshima is famous for producing about half of all domestically produced dried bonito flakes, which are a popular ingredient for dashi,” the spokesperson continued.