The Land of the Rising Sun is known for the freshest produce and beef. Quality is always a top concern here, and the Japanese painstakingly and continuously develop processes to ensure their products are the epitome of excellence. Wherever the produce is from, sea, plains or mountains, we are assured that heart and mind were involved in coming up with the food that sits so beautifully on our plates.
Kobe is known for their beef, technically known as Tajima beef, because it hails from Tajima, though most everyone knows it as Kobe beef. Cattle aren’t the only product that’s famous in the area though. Others include grapes, pears, peaches and cheese to name a few. The list below showcases the farms that allow you to view or interact with the products they are known for.
Hidden in the hills of Mount Rokko is a public pasture where farm animals such as cows, horses, goats, and sheep roam around. You can enjoy a quick horse riding lesson, feed the animals and have ice cream plus other food items to sample. Check out their cheese making processes and try out the cheese fondue in their restaurants. If you want a more adventurous experience going up there, you can take a cable car to get a better view of the mountainsides.
Unlike the previous farm in this list where you can feed the animals and interact with them, Takami Beef farm allows tours, but their rules must strictly be followed to ensure the safety of visitors. The facility and cattle are the stars of the facility. There are more guidelines to be aware of before visiting; such as you have to book your tour seven days prior. Another tip is that farm visits are free if you order your meal from their restaurant. Who wouldn’t want to lunch on the world famous beef anyway when you have it right from the source?
If you love cheese, then you should visit this farm. It’s a 20-minute drive from Kobe’s urban area and beyond Mount Rokko, and yes, they specialize in everything about cheese. The farm has a factory, a herb garden, fields, and pasture where around 60 cattle roam and graze. It’s not a sightseeing farm, so the management explicitly reminds visitors not to bring food and drinks on the premises. You can, however, feast on cheese and other dishes in their restaurant.
If you’re ever on Awaji Island and you love horses, you can spend a day riding horses on this farm. You can explore the surrounding landscape near the farm like mountain passes and shorelines on one of their horses. Who doesn’t want to wade through the ocean waters riding a horse and take an epic photo while at it?
In Nishi and Kita wards, you can pick fruits to your heart’s content. Yes, it is possible in Kobe because it’s not all restaurants and high fashion. You can be on your knees and cultivate a plot and plant fruits and vegetables. It’s a beautiful experience especially for those with a green thumb. Imagine picking the most luscious grapes, pears, peaches, strawberries, and persimmons. Your harvest is yours to take home and enjoy.
Kobe spells out restaurants, famous architectural attractions, historical sites and fashion but beyond that, you might as well enjoy the bounty of nature right from its source that is a ride away from the urban spotlight. For sure, the ingredients they use at the restaurants come from the mountains and fields, but what better way to appreciate that than by going on an adventure and seeing for yourself how they cultivate and care for the animals and plants.