Sosei Partners (Shimokawa) 2018


We arrived in Shimokawa today and were warmly welcomed by the head of Shimokawa’s tourism department and a government official from the town office. They gave us a detailed introduction of Shimokawa, the incredibly future-oriented vision of the town and how it is incorporated into its industries, tourism, town planning and other aspects of everyday life. We were all impressed by how Shimokawa has managed to overcome its challenges and created a sustainable town, with its comprehensive forestry management and biomass energy policies.



We then started with our adventure into the forests of Shimokawa. Our guide, Fujiwara-san, led us in the journey to learn about the beauties and charms of the forests, such as the different types of plants that we chanced upon, and their characteristics. We were deeply impressed by his wealth of knowledge as he virtually described every single living thing that we encountered. The coniferous todomatsu pine trees, the purple corydalis ambigua, the yellow caltha palustris and so on, were our new friends of the day.




We then cut the branches and leaves of selected pine trees using a long axe, brought them back to the eco-house, before distilling them into aroma and essential oil. It was an interesting learning process, as we could see for ourselves how tedious it was to obtain the resources, set up the distillation process and carry out the distillation just to get several milliliters of aroma oil.



In the afternoon, we went into the forest again to pick some plants which we would later use for cooking. We also enjoyed some spectacular view at a observatory deck that overlooks the town and forests of Shimokawa, while drinking chamomile tea that is locally sourced, from a wooden cup that is locally produced. Somehow, everything in Shimokawa is locally produced and interconnected. This is, I guess, what we call self-sustainable. Not only is the tourism related to the long term goal of Shimokawa to become a future oriented sustainable town, but even the everyday life is a manifestation of the town’s vision.




One of our tasks this time was to promote the charms and allures of Shimokawa, together with its tourism, so as to attract visitors who share the same vision as this town. Each country and culture have a different perspective; people from a particular country or region views the attractions of Shimokawa in a different way. Our international participants are then given the tasks of disseminating information about Shimokawa on the respective media platforms most used in their respective countries.



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Slowly but certainly, we strongly believe that Shimokawa's painstaking efforts in creating a sustainable society, sustainable "tourism", and a sustainable town will bear fruition and attract attention from the world.