The Japanese Cultural Affairs Bureau announced on April 28 the “Japanese heritage” certifying the story of Japanese culture and tradition through the historical charm and characteristics of the area.
5 cities and towns and villages in Kochi prefecture ‘Landscape and food culture of Chugei area of Nangoku Tosa, where yuzu is scented from forest railway to Yuzu Road in Japan’ is certified.
The Japanese heritage started from 2015, and the past 37 cases have been certified. In 2017, 17 newly added, Kochi prefecture will be the second in the ” Shikoku Pilgrimage – Migrant Pilgrimage Route and unique pilgrimage culture ~.
“Forest railroad” which greatly contributed to the development of forestry in Japan was a railroad for transporting wood cut down from the mountain, active from the Meiji Period(1869~) to the Showa 40s era(1970’s).
It is maintained in national forests throughout the country, totaling 1,174 routes 8,180 km (according to the Forestry Agency survey). In the Meiji Era(1869~1912), locomotives were introduced in the Taisho era(1912~1926), using wood loaded in the trucks and using the gradient of nature. It gradually changed from a steam locomotive to a gasoline car, a charcoal gas car, a diesel car, enabling mass transportation of wood and greatly contributing to the promotion of forestry.
Kochi Prefecture boasts the prefecture area’s forest ratio of 84% and boasts the best in the country, and Kochi Prefecture has made good progress in forestry making full use of abundant resources. Especially in the eastern part of the eastern part rich in rainfall “Nahari Town, Tano Town, Yasuda Town, Kitagawa Village, Umaji Village” is placed at first glance as the precious place of “Konange Sugi” precious trees. Forest railroads were constructed to connect Yasuda, Tano and Nahari Town along the coast in a circular fashion from Kitagawa village of the mountain where the country ‘s forestry station was previously located. It was used not only for carrying out wood but also for children going to school, transporting luggage, etc. It was exactly what supported life. Even now, you can see the prosperity traces in the Chuo area. In 2009, the five tunnels of the Fish River Forest Railroad and nine bridges were designated as the “National Important Cultural Properties” for the first time in Japan for the wide area designation that spans multiple towns and villages as forest railway remains.
From forestry to the yuzu producing area in Japan
With forestry shrinking along with the changing of the times, it is the yuzu cultivation that the people of the art industry district worked as a new industry.
In this district, it is still inherited the custom from that time to eat rice sushi with vegetables on rice with citrus fruits juice or sashimi, or citrus fruit juice.
Its fragrance and sorrow is very popular both in Japan and abroad! Today, the cultivated area of the whole district exceeds 200 ha, the production volume is the best in Japan. It is a shipment number boasting a share of about 40%. It is also exported to countries around the world including Europe.
In addition, development and manufacturing of juice, ponzu etc. are actively carried out. “Gokkun horse road village” which is known nationwide is also a product born in the Chugei area.
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The Kochi prefecture ‘Chugei area’ accredited as a Japanese heritage is located about 50 km east of Kochi city.
Natural sweet swims to the two streams of Yasuda river and Nahari river flowing from the Shikoku mountain range.
In the mouth of the estuary, the streets of Tosa plaster, drainage tile, and Ishiguro (stone fence) houses and rice wine lines are lined up against the backdrop of the majestic Tosa Bay.
It is “Yuzu” to wrap this medieval land with a refreshing aroma and vividly color the eyes.