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MAPLE BASE (Chichibu-Gun, Oganomachi)

 

 18 Mar 2018

The design of a maple leaf made of powdered sugar drawn on top of pancakes with amber coloured maple syrup poured on top. When it’s brought to your lips a soft sweetness fills your mouth. Along the border between Chichibu City and Oganomachi you’ll find Chichibu Muse Park, which is home to Japan’s first Sugar House, Maple Base.

 

A sugar house is a place where the sap extracted from Maple trees in Canada’s forests is processed and made into syrup. Ms. Aiko Ihara, who studied at Maple Base’s head office in Canada, and her staff opened this branch in Japan in 2016.

 

During a time of deforestation, when cedar and cypress trees were just being cut down and taken away, they decided to start using the sap from local maple trees in order to protect the forest and revived a type of forestry without the need to cut down the trees.

 

Ms. Ihara, whose hometown of Chichibu started using maple trees, quit her job and completely turned her life around, believing that it was essential to introduce sustainable forestry to young people. And so, the Chichibu Tourism Souvenir Co-operative was formed. Along with her fellow members, she arranged for the import of a concentrating machine, negotiated building use, remodeled, and finally opened the shop.

 

They hope the sweet taste brought out from many trees will be enjoyed by all those who visit.

 

Process of Production

  • 1- Extracting Sap

At the beginning of spring, before the snow melts, a hole is tapped into the trunk of maple trees naturally growing in Chichibu. The sap flows from the hole and is collected in tanks.

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    At the entrance, there are many pictures displaying how sap is extracted from the maple trees.

 

  • 2 - Concentrating

The collected sap needs to be boiled down to approximately one fortieth the amount. In order to break down the amount, a special evaporator is necessary. It is powered using firewood so the surrounding area is often shrouded in steam.

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   The evaporator in the workshop being prepared for operation.

 

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Access


 

Address/How to access

〒368-0102  Saitama Prefecture, Chichibu-Gun, Oganomachi, Nagaru 1129-1

Inside Chichibu Muse Park

電話: 0494-26-6150

Please take the Seibu Railway to Seibu Chichibu Station or the Chichibu Railway to Chichibu Station. Then take the Chichibu Muse Park “Gururin” bus to “Sports no Mori” bus stop and walk approx. 3 mins.

Map

Google Map

Opening Hours

10am – 5pm (Last Order: 4:30pm)

Official WEB

https://www.facebook.com/MAPLEBASE.JP

Holidays

Wednesday (Closed National Holidays and Busy Season)

Reservation Requirements

Reservations are possible.

電話0494-26-6150

Maximum Number of Participants

Please consult with us.

Estimated price for one meal

1000yen

Please note that we do not accept credit cards at this time.

Note

In February every year we hold a Maple Eco-Tour where you can observe the extraction of sap from Maple trees. (Limited number of participants / reservation required)

There are over 20 different varieties of Maple trees that grow naturally in Chichibu. In front of the entrance, you can observe Maple seedlings being grown.

It is possible to view the evaporator (the machine used to condense sap from Maple trees) through an observation window during business hours.

The actual process of making syrup can be observed between February and March.