In recent years, “gibier cuisine” has continued to take hold in Japan. Gibier cuisine means eating meat from wild board, deer, and bird game. In Kyoto Prefecture, from long ago there was a custom of eating wild boar, and the botan nabe from the Miyami region, known as “Kabayuki no Sato,” is a famous winter tradition. Wild boar meat is characterized by its fattiness, being rich in collagen, and its beautiful appearance, all of which makes botan nabe a dish you will want to try.
Wild game cuisine
In addition to alcohol, Chichibu owes several other regional specialties to its mountainous surroundings. Overpopulations of deer and wild boar have begun to damage the forests and the habitats of other wildlife, so in response the local government has begun to promote gibier, or wild game cuisine. Area establishments are now offering specials featuring wild game as a way to increase interest among visitors. Another recent initiative relating to local cuisine is the rise in maple tree cultivation. The climate and terrain of Chichibu are particularly suited to maples, and confectioners have taken to planting them in the mountains to harvest their sap—simultaneously protecting the forests and supporting the rise of a new regional specialty: maple syrup.