Want Your Own Free Wagyu Cow? Move to This Tiny Japanese Village

By Justine Sterling |
FWX JAPANS COW ISLAND

© TONY MCNICOL / Alamy

In a dating slump? Career at a standstill? Ants staging a hostile takeover of your apartment? Here’s some advice: pack up and move. Specifically, move to Japan’s small island village of Kagoshima. Why? Moving there comes with some serious perks—namely, a Wagyu cow, moving expenses and subsidized dates. It’s the tiny town’s last-ditch effort for survival as most of its current residents are dying out.

First, the town will pay for some of your moving expenses (about $850, which, admittedly, won’t get you far if you’re coming from the US; but hey, it’s nothing). They are also offering housing for less than $200 a month. But Kagoshima won’t be satisfied just to have you there. The powers that be in the town wants you to be fruitful and multiply. That’s why the town will pay for a portion of your dates—it’s part of the Bride Searching Project. And once one of those dates works out, the town offers grants to help fund childbirth and education.

But so far we’ve been avoiding the elephant in the room. In this case, that elephant is a cow. Every new townsperson gets a Kuroge Wagyu calf—or 500,000 yen ($4,182), their choice. But you’re dumb if you don’t opt for delicious future beef. Wagyu, if you aren’t familiar, is the breed of cow used for succulent Kobe beef. While you won’t be getting that specific strain of cattle, you can count on some terrific meat in a few years—especially if you treat the cow like Kobe breeders and feed it beer while giving it regular massages. Free dates, cheap housing and a cow? As long as you’re under 55 and want to work in agriculture or fishing, this could be your reality.

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