Posted May 30, 2013on:
Takayama is a small city located in the region of Gifu, Japan. It has the feel of a much smaller city, nothing like Tokyo at all, and in certain areas, there are still streets retained in the traditional style of the Edo period.
Though outside of Japan it’s simply called Takayama, within Japan it is commonly known as Hida-Takayama, to differentiate it from all the other cities and towns called Takayama in Japan.
Most lovers of beef will instantly recognize the name Hida, because it is associated with Hida beef which is a variant of wagyu but with less fat so giving a bit more beefy flavour.
To be specific, I quote from the city’s website:
“Hida-gyu” (Hida Beef) is the specific name given to beef from a black-haired Japanese cattle breed, that has been raised in Gifu Prefecture for at least 14 months.
Hida-gyu is required to have been confirmed and certified as Yield Score of Grade A or B by the Hida Beef Brand Promotion Conference, and have a Firmness and Texture Grade of 5, 4 or 3 as graded by the Japan Meat Grading Association.
Other Grades of Hida beef are called “Hida Wagyu” (Hida Japanese Beef).
So looking around Takayama for places to have Hida beef, I saw many roadside stalls selling Hida beef as yakiniku, shabu-shabu, and even raw as sushi. But one place I had in mind was this place that I had read about when I was doing my research on Takayama food – Center4 Hamburgers.
It’s definitely not what I had in mind at first, travelling all the way to Japan to eat burgers? But since the other place I had in mind would only be open for dinner, I decided to give this a try anyway.
Center4 Hamburgers is actually located at the back of another souvenir shop, which you can see in the first photo. You have to go in and pass through a small corridor which you can see below.
Once through, you encounter a small but cosy space that’s filled to the brim with an eclectic mix of bric-à-bracs, bottles and tartan fabrics all around. Completely not what I was expecting from a hamburger joint!
Well the burger was – in one word – awesome! I ordered their Special Hida Beef Burger and it was a revelation. One big juicy patty of probably some of the best tasting beef out there. Sides of thick potato wedges and a tomato onion salsa (both excellent as well) round off the burger.
Definitely a must-try if you’re either a beef burger fan!!
94 Kami-ichinomachi, Takayama, Gifu, Japan
Open: 1100-2130 except Wednesdays