Furano Wagyu, aiming for meat of
the highest quality and taste

  • TEXT
  • Masayo Ichimura
  • Hiromi Terashima
  • Hironobu Oe
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  • The highlight of the course at restaurant Akihisa Handa is Furano Wagyu à la poêle. You’ll be surprised how easily your knife slides into the meat without much effort. The first bite will reveal not only the softness of the beef, but the flavor that oozes out with every chew. Furano Wagyu is a high-end brand of Japanese Black beef from cattle raised on Taniguchi Farm in the town of Kamifurano. Even chef Akihisa Handa, who has tasted countless Wagyu beef from Hokkaido, says “The fat feels less heavy because of the low melting point, and the lean part of the cut is also very flavorful. The moistness and softness is beyond comparison.”
  • In the world of beef, those of the highest level have a rank of A5 and a score of 12 on the Beef Marbling Scale or BMS, which indicates the degree of marbling on a scale of 12. However, in recent years, some have shunned the highest grade of meat for being “too rich.” Seeing this, Yoshiaki Taniguchi, president of Taniguchi Farm, wanted to find a way for people to continue enjoying top-grade beef in the most delicious way possible. The key to this was feed formulation and timing. Upon returning to his father’s farm around 17 years ago after a stint at a feed company, Mr. Taniguchi promptly began observing how the cattle ate their feed, in order to work out how they could be fattened even more. Once the cattle were slaughtered, he would check the condition of the carcasses and taste the beef. Based on this, he made small adjustments to the feed formulation with the precision of changing the taste of a dish with a small amount of seasoning, in order to create the quality of meat he was looking for. By 2008, he was beginning to detect gradual improvements in the meat; this was also around the time that his beef was gaining more exposure, such as being served during a luncheon hosted by the Prime Minister’s wife at the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit. From there, he devoted himself to making further improvements to the beef and went through dozens of trials and errors, making mistakes along the way such as enhancing the flavor of the lean meat only to realize that the fat had become tasteless. After pouring his time and energy into improving the taste and reputation of his beef, he is now confident that he has amassed all the knowhow he needs. The two began collaborating in 2006 when Mr. Handa became executive chef of Furano Hotel (Furano City). “Please make this delicious thing taste even better!” said Mr. Taniguchi, as he passed the baton to the man responsible for putting his beef on people’s tables.

  • Poêléd, or butter-basted fillet steak is a simple dish, which is why the right amount of heat is crucial. For a tender and juicy steak, Mr. Handa calculates when he should bring the meat to room temperature based on time it will be served, and cooks the beef slowly on low heat. Then, he rests the steak just enough, making sure the meat doesn’t cook too far in the residual heat. Making a delicious thing taste even better, indeed. It’s sure to be a dish you won’t forget.



  • 〒064-0804
    Minami 4-jo, Nishi 4-1-1,Sapporo, Hokkaido
  • 〒064-0808
    5-420, Nishi, Minami 8 Jo, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido
  • 〒064-8509
    5-1, Nishi, Minami 4 Jo, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido