Saga Craft Wagyu
~The Champion farm that coexists with the famous Ureshino tea plantation.~
Situated in the northwest of Kyūshū,Saga prefecture is surrounded by 2 fishing areas in Japan that are well-known for the quality of their catch, Genkai Sea and Ariake Sea. Historical sites and shukuba(ancient post towns) from ancient times can be found in Saga prefecture, a prefecture that is steeped in history and tells the story how Japan became a country.
Saga beef is the second-most strictly regulated beef under criteria set by Japanese Meat Grading Association in all of Japan, following Sendai beef. Every month, more than 1000 foreign tourists flock to Kira, a restaurant located in Saga City of rural Kyūshū that specializes in Saga beef, to get a taste of this famous beef.
Saga beef is unique because of a combination of the cattle’s excellent pedigree and the management of how cattle are raised. Only the best cattle breeds that have their meat quality enhanced over decades of dedicated rearing in Saga are selected. At the same time, the compound feed used for rearing of cattle has been standardized across all groups of Saga cattle to achieve uniform meat quality. As such, Saga beef is currently the only major brand of wagyufound in Japan.
Murata Farm is a family-run farm. Having produced a combined carcass weight of 553.8kg of Champion Saga beef in 2018 alone,Murata farm is one of the few farms in Saga prefecture that run operations ranging from the breeding of calves to the fattening of cattle.
This amount is over 15% more than the carcass weight of the more common Rank A5 high-quality wagyubeef, an outstanding feat that would not have been possible if not for the farm’s detailed understanding and attentive management of the well-being of every individual cattle.
Murata Farm places particular emphasis on calves spending more time with their mothers, which encourages the secretion of the hormone oxytocin. Cows of specially selected pedigree that are unique to the farm are allowed to graze in a healthy natural environment lined by terraced fields of Ureshino tea, one of Japan’s most famous teas. This environment promotes healthy bone formation and strengthens the leg muscles of cows, which are then able to deliver calves of the highest quality.
Depending on the individual cattle’s condition during the fattening stage, cattle are typically given a compound feed comprising more than 10 ingredients, including corn, soybean, bran, soybean meal, alfalfa meal, etc.
Compost collected from the cowshed is used as an excellent source of fertilizer for the rice fields in the famous rice planting region of Hirano. In autumn, after the rice has been harvested, the remaining high-quality hay is immediately shredded in the paddy fields and dried under the sun for several days, then used as a nutritious coarse feed to beef up the cattle and maintain their good bowel health.
The establishment of Saga beef as a brand today would not have been possible without the enduring effort of All Saga as well as the local government and local agricultural cooperatives. Among other things, the immense work of Mr. Tateno, a veterinarian at JA Saga affectionately known as Mr. Saga Beef, has been highly regarded both in Japan and abroad as a core contribution to the establishment of Saga beef as a brand that promises consistency of meat quality.
Among producers of the well-known wagyu brand of Saga beef, Murata Farm is unique in having adopted sustainable farming practices that are attentive to the regional environment, and a breeding system that oversees the entire process from breeding of calves to the fattening of pedigree cattle in Saga. Through these efforts, Murata Farm has become the ideal place to find exquisite craft wagyuwithin Saga prefecture.
Waterfall of Mikaeri
Ureshino tea plantation