Matsutake is definitely the most precious and most expensive mushroom which you can find in Japan. This mushroom is found around forest of red pine trees, especially the Japanese red pine. Rich Japanese red pine means rich matsutake, which is the mutualism. It is king of mushroom cuisine due to its distinct spicy-aromatic odor.
Matsutake cannot be grown as cultivation, not like shiitake mushroom. Therefore the harvest depends on the climate, weather and skills of the matsutake pickers.
Nevertheless, the quantity of matsutake is decreasing each decade and now is highly depended on import. Of course domestic matsutake is much expensive than the imported one but there are more odor and tasteful too.
Matsutake is consumed many ways but popular ways are steamed with rice, grilled or stewed with other ingredients.