Star of the Shizuoka steak scene comes to Tokyo, and to our stomach.

Food and photography have long been things that Japan is passionate about, and the country’s eating-enthusiasts will be quick to tell you that presentation is very important. But with so much effort going into making photos of food look as mouthwatering as possible, sometimes you can’t help but wonder if the real thing is going to really look as good.

As so it was with some hesitation, but also much hunger, that we found ourselves repeatedly looking at this photo of a steak sandwich.

This meaty marvel is the creation of Mr. Aging, an aged beef sandwich shop in the town of Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture. Being a few prefectures over from SoraNews24 headquarters in Tokyo, Shizuoka is a little outside our range for a sandwich run, but we were in luck, as Mr. Aging is one of the exhibitors at the Shizuoka Delicious Foods Tournament (“Shizuoka Umaimono Taikai”) event currently taking place at the Shinjuku branch of the Keio Department Store chain in downtown Tokyo, within walking distance of our offices.

Eager to discover the truth (and to have our boss pay for a steak sandwich for us), we headed on over to the Keio branch, made our way up to the event space on the 7th floor, and procured Mr. Aging’s humbly named “Steak Sandwich.” Bracing ourselves for possible disappointment if it didn’t look as decadently massive as the promotional photo, we cautiously unwrapped it, and…

Wow. It might actually be even bigger than it looked in the photo.

We were especially impressed by how what seems to be an entire chopped steak manages to stay within the buns without spilling out. Gazing at it, we were reminded of the stone bases of samurai castles, where a collection of massive but irregularly shaped rocks are piled just so in order to form a steady foundation.

As you can probably guess, this wasn’t a cheap sandwich, costing us 2,980 yen (US$20). But considering that we had 300 grams (10.6 ounces) of beef in there, the price felt entirely fair, and maybe even generous.

We did notice that the beef was considerably less red-and-rare than in the photo, though. Considering that this is a to-go order, Mr. Aging most likely cooked the meat a little more thoroughly than they do for eat-in customers, for safety reasons since there’ll be a lapse in time until the sandwich is eaten.

All right, so we were plenty pleased with the quantity, but what about the quality of this steak sandwich? Once again, Mr. Aging did not disappoint. The meat was incredibly tender, with no tough or stringy sections, and the additional flavors from the Chaliapin sauce (onion, butter, and soy sauce) made it even better. Even the bread was toasted to just the right degree to draw out more of the meaty notes of the overall flavor profile, while the sprinkled parsley gave a tiny bit of color too.

So yes, Mr. Aging’s steak sandwich lived up to the lofty expectations its promotional photo evoked. The Keio Department Store’s Shizuoka Delicious Foods Tournament wraps up on February 21, but after that there’s still the option of hitting up the permanent Mr. Aging restaurant in Fujinomiya. Yeah, it’s a little out of the ways for most people, but with as huge as their steak sandwich is, you probably won’t be getting hungry again on your way back home.

Location information
Mr. Aging / Mr.エイジング
Address: Shizuoka-ken, Fujinomiya-shi, Motoshiro-cho 5-12
Open 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Website (Instagram)

Event information
Shizuoka Delicious Foods Tournament / 静岡うまいもの大会
Venue: Keio Department Store (Shinjuku branch) / 京王百貨店(新宿店 )
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Nishi Shinjuku 1-1-4
Open 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
Event runs until February 21

Top image: PR Times, SoraNews24
Insert images: PR Times, SoraNews24
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