NIHONMONODiscovering Japan [Nihon] through authentic craftsmanship [Honmono]

Popular for fresh milk and milk products – Kato Farms

Popular for fresh milk and milk products – Kato Farms

Farms are often located in a large plot of rolling hills, but Kato Farms is located in the middle of a residential district in Hidaka-shi. Many visitors are often surprised by the farm that appears suddenly in the middle of the quiet residential area, but the reality is that houses began appearing around the farm. It all began when the first generation owner bought a milking cow, then moved to this area from Saitama with 10 cows in tow about 50 years ago.
“Back then, there were hardly any houses or roads, and it was pitch black at night.” “Tadashi Kato, CEO)

They now have about 200 cows that are free to roam around the large property and rest in any of the stalls in the barn. Not only do they provide a comfortable environment for the cows, they also continue to expand their business by adding a gelato store in 1995 and a dairy processing plant in 1997 to provide quality milk, yogurt cheese and other dairy products.

The property is not that large, but the milk is second to none, mainly because it only takes 1 to at the most 12 hours for the milk to be pasteurized and bottled. Using a low temperature pasteurization process that doesn’t break up the fat, the milk retains the natural sweetness without any of the distinct milky scent.

“We choose only the best feed to provide a safe and secure product, even though we aren’t a large brand. We have a lot of families visit our farm on the weekends since we’re located in a residential area.”

The restaurant serves a donburi (rice bowl) with several cheeses, a delicious cheese risotto, and cheese herb hot pot. Guests can taste many of the menus to enjoy the true taste of milk and milk products. There are also classes about how to milk the cows, make butter, cheese, ice cream and pizza. (Reservations required, under renovation as of December 2020.)

In the store on the property, there is a wide selection of dairy products such as puddings, soft serve ice cream, cheese and yogurt. The concept is to “have consumers enjoy the delicious taste of dairy products”, so new products and dishes are constantly being added.
The pudding even drew high marks from Nakata who has eaten the most gourmet foods from around the country. It is made using only the milk and cream from Kato Farm combined with quality sugar, free range eggs and vanilla beans and no artificial additives.

There is a good selection of cheeses as well, and at the Japan Cheese Award 2020 which is held every 2 years, Kato Farms won gold and grand prize in the burrata cheese category. They also earned bronze in blue cheese, wash cheese and chevre categories, an example of the quality they offer. While Hokkaido tends to be associated with good dairy products, there is a great alternative close to Tokyo that can be enjoyed by families.

ACCESS

Kato Farms
572 Asahigaoka, Hidaka-shi, Saitama
TEL 042-984-1414
URL https://www.baffi.ne.jp/