Sosei Partners (Shimokawa) July 2018


Our project with Shimokawa this time involves 17 international students of 13 different nationalities from Hokkaido University. This is our first collaboration with Hokkaido University to offer Shimokawa as a fieldwork for learning about sustainable tourism, sustainability and sustainable town planning. The participating international students are also given the tasks of offering international perspectives and helping the town promote its tourism. 



After having arriving at Shimokawa, we were welcomed by the local tourism department and local government official, and given a detailed explanation about Shimokawa and its challenges and innovative policies to overcome its problems. We also had a discussion session where the international students actively asked questions about Shimokawa. We then had a stroll around the town, before having a barbecue party with local residents. It’s been a long day but all of us had lots of fun and learnt a lot about this extremely interesting town.



As part of the process to understand about the sustainable forest management in Shimokawa, we also entered the forests with our knowledgeable guide who explained to us in detail the benefits and challenges of Shimokawa. He also introduced to us many different types of plants and flowers and amazed us with the variety of plants living in the forest habitat. We then returned to the eco house to distill branches and leaves of the pine trees and distilled them to produce aroma oil.



In the afternoon, we had the honor to welcome the mayor of Shimokawa to give us a talk, before we split into different groups for the fieldwork. 



All in all, it's been a fruitful and enriching learning experience in Shimokawa. Today was the final day where our students presented our ideas, thoughts and suggestions to the town mayor and heads of the tourism department and town promotion department. Looking forward to our next trip there in September with a new group of international friends!