Renting forest space is becoming popular among Japanese city dwellers seeking time in nature

Tomohiro Kimata, senior consultant at Satoyume Co, who is familiar with the forest service industry, said, “The forenta service can coexist with the forest industry because it does not need to develop the mountains. Similar services have emerged, but I’d like to see these services evolve towards establishing new relationships in which users and local residents interact, rather than engaging in price competition between service providers. »

With about two-thirds of its territory covered in forests, Japan is rich in this resource. But domestic timber has long since lost ground to imported timber, prices and demand have fallen, and forestry workers have shrunk by 70% over the past 35 years.

The trees are only getting bigger and the volume of planted forests, which represent 40% of all forests in the country, has increased about six times in about 50 years.

In seeking to revitalize the forest industry and mountain villages, the central government has groped for ways to use forest areas for non-forest areas, such as health, tourism and education. In 2019, he named these efforts the “Forest Service Industry” and is working to grow the industry in close cooperation with local governments, businesses and organizations.

In the Tokai region, Shirakawa village in Gifu prefecture was selected as the national model area in this respect, and Gujo city in the same prefecture was chosen as the sub-model area in 2020. Gujo accepts programs corporate training courses that include forest and river experiences around the headwaters of the Nagara River. Gifu Prefecture is also preparing to set up a council to promote the forest service industry.

In Mie Prefecture, the “Wanko-no-Mori Asobi” program started in 2019 in a man-made forest owned by Toyota Motor Corp in Odai city. This unique project, adopted by Toyota’s public offering, allows dogs and their owners to play together in forests or in mountain streams.

Japan time

Asian News Network

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