The most dangerous festival in the world"Hebo Matsuri” is held in Kushihara of Ena City, Gifu Prefecture, Japan every year on November 3. In it we find the peculiar dish of wasps and larvae called hachinoko.
Japanese people living in central areas of the country have been eating insects throughout history and this Festival”Hebo Matsuri” is one of the few remaining in which insects are eaten. It all takes place in a place surrounded by hills and mountains on the border with Aichi Prefecture, near the city of Nagoya.
at the festival Hebo Matsuri you can find for sale wasps and nests of the most vicious wasps in the world called kurosuzumebachi [くろすずめばち]. There you will find several dishes with insects such as Tempura, sushi, takikomi gohan, kebab and yakitori.
It has been common for Japanese people living near mountainous areas to eat nuts and insects as a good source of protein for hundreds of years and for people to create festivals to honor the insects that sacrificed their lives for them.
Edible wasp nests sell for around 3,000 yen per kg or more. Some wasps are only edible from the 5th year of age, as larvae of 4 years and under are small, the cultivation process is difficult.
In addition to the food, there is also a healthy wasp growing competition. In a contest, a judge weighs the competitors' wasp nests, with the heaviest taking home the top prize.
on TV the Hebo Matsuri is billed as Japan's Most Dangerous Festival, The chances of getting stung are quite high, but in reality it's not as dangerous as the mandarin wasps, unless you are allergic to bees.
Hachinoko – A dish of larvae and wasps
Hachinoko is a specialty of Nagano Prefecture and Gifu, considered a delicacy during autumn. Depending on the region, the dishes can vary, but they are usually composed of bee or wasp larvae. It can be served with gohan and accompany a serve.
Despite being strange, such a delicacy is very appreciated and tasty by brave tourists and locals who claim to have a sweet and crispy taste, as well as being rich in vitamins and proteins. It is believed that the custom arose out of scarcity in the past.
There's no need to wait for the Hebo Matsuri festival to try these delicacies. Just travel around the region and look for a place that prepares this type of exotic dish. Emperor Hirohito usually likes to eat wasps fried with soy sauce.
You can find several Hachinoko restaurants in Nagano, Tsukiji and mountainous regions. If you want to know more about the dishes and festivals, let’s finish the article by leaving some videos below: