“Gibier Meat in Everyday Life” ~ Wakakusa hutte&co-ba miyazaki Manager and Yamashi Tadashi Imanishi (Miyazaki Prefecture)

若草hutte(ヒュッテ) & co-ba miyazaki ジビエ料理

Wakakusa-dori Shopping Street, located in the center of Miyazaki City, Miyazaki Prefecture, is a place lined with individual shops such as apparel shops, restaurants, and sundry shops, each with its own charm. If you take a side street on the north side of the main street and go a little further, you will find a cafe where you can feel the atmosphere of "mountain".

The name of the cafe is " Wakakusa hutte & co-ba miyazaki " . Firewood is piled up in front of the eaves, and there is a banner that says "Misato Gibier". A little after dinner time, I looked inside the store and saw a woman enjoying conversation with her friends, a man drinking coffee and taking a breather, and a woman choosing sweets to take home in front of the cash register. I can see the situation.

(▲ Photo (above)): The exterior of Wakakusa hutte & co-ba miyazaki. On the side of Wakakusa-dori, there is a narrow alley where cars cannot pass, and if you go through it, you will find many hidden gem shops.

Enter the store and sit at the counter. Then, while waiting for the coffee I ordered, I looked at the state of the shop. The interior of the store, which is based on wood, has a warm light and a relaxed atmosphere. Some people order alcohol, apparently it's bar time now. It's not noisy at all, so it's a good place to stop by after a few drinks and have a leisurely conversation with friends or colleagues.

(▲ Photo (above)): The interior of the store has a calm atmosphere, and time flows slowly. Lunch time is from 11:30 to 14:30, cafe time from 10:00 to 23:30, bar time from 17:00 to 23:30.

While drinking the coffee that came out, I suddenly became curious about the banner outside that says "Misato Gibier", so I asked the master.

“We serve game meat from Miyazaki in our lunch menus, bar snacks, and event menus. Even those who have eaten game meat for the first time say, 'It doesn't smell, it's not addictive, and it's delicious.' Especially deer. The meat is healthy and many of our female customers order it.Because it's rich in iron and low in calories, we've had a lot of customers who are on a sugar-restricted diet recently."

The friendly master politely answers my questions. I heard that the family runs a forestry business in Misato Town, Miyazaki Prefecture, and the title of the master is a charlatan. While engaged in forestry, he has witnessed many damages caused by deer and wild boars.

(▲ Photo (above)): Mr. Tadashi Imanishi, a charlatan with a perm, manages the store.

The store opened on August 11, 2017, "Mountain Day". We have been operating HUTTE as a “place that connects the mountains and the city” by providing the blessings of the mountains such as wild game, shiitake mushrooms, and vegetables at our stores. Due to the recent increase in wildlife damage, the number of deer and wild boar captured nationwide has increased significantly.

In many cases, pest control is carried out throughout the year, not just during the hunting season. According to the Ministry of the Environment's latest announcement, 601,200 sika deer and 545,400 wild boar were captured in FY2017, for a total of 1,146,600.

With such a large number of fish being caught, it would be nice to have more of that meat distributed, but in reality, there aren't many opportunities for it to be on the table of general consumers. In the case of hunters, the meat of prey captured by hunting is often used effectively, but in other cases, the current situation is that most of the meat is incinerated or buried as waste.

( Picture (top)): In front of the cash register, there are gibier products for takeout and souvenirs, shiitake mushrooms unique to Yamashi, and sweets such as cakes and daifuku.

Recently, gibier meat has been featured in the media, etc., but it is not familiar to general consumers, and there are still few stores that handle it. In the first place, wild game meat used in stores must be produced in a processing facility that meets the standards, but the system of animal meat processing in each region is still in the process of being developed, and it is far from a stable supply.

"I'm not a hunter, but I believe that many people will be able to get to know the charm of game meat through the menu I offer at the store, so I've been serving the game menu every day since I opened the store. The meat used is We purchase high-quality meat from processing facilities in Miyazaki Prefecture.The current situation will not change unless people eat this meat as a matter of course,” says Mr. Imanishi.

(▲ Picture (above)): A variety of people gather at HUTTE. Of course, there are many people who use the cafe, but there are people who use the coworking space to study after work, and people who host events and disseminate information. Naturally, some people come looking for delicious gibier.

Also, based on the concept of a place that connects the mountains and the city, the second and third floors of the cafe are coworking spaces*. In addition to being used as a work space, it is also used for various events such as product exhibitions, seminars, and workshops, making it a place where various people can interact. The aim is to help create new value from these exchanges.

* Co-working space: A space where people who are not in the same group share a space where they work.

(▲ Photo (above)): Co-working space on the second floor. Equipped with air conditioning, printer, and Wi-Fi. It is often rented out and used for lectures and other events. The third floor is a premium space, available only to subscribers.

Especially in rural areas, the number of shuttered shopping streets continues to increase. Under such circumstances, I think that increasing the number of shops like HUTTE, which has a unique charm and can transmit new value, in the shopping district can lead to the revitalization of the region.

Recently, taking advantage of the fact that it is a place where various people can interact, we have held a talk and cooking event "Gibier Women's Night" by female hunters in Misato Town. etc. was introduced. In the midst of diverse communication, new ideas regarding wildlife damage and the use of gibier may be born from here.

(▲ Photo (above)): A scene from the recently held Gibier Women's Night. An active female hunter told a real story about hunting and how to enjoy gibier. One of HUTTE's attractions is that it hosts events that people of all ages and occupations can enjoy.

▼ Please refer to the following for directions to the store and contact information.

[Wakakusa hutte & co-ba miyazaki] From the Wakakusa-dori arcade, enter the narrow alley between Shiki-dori and Haikara-dori on the north side, and it is on the right hand side. There is a kids space on the 1st floor and a nursing room on the 2nd floor.

Address: 3-5-33 Tachibana-dori Higashi, Miyazaki City, Miyazaki Prefecture 880-0805 Phone: 0985-41-5359 Click here for HUTTE's Facebook page>>

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