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Takachihogo – Shiibayama—a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System sharing knowledge about sustainable mountain living with the world

Region:

The people of Takachihogo-Shiibayama Villages possess a deep respect and admiration for nature which they weave into their farming and forestry practices. Throughout the region, people pray to the local gods for favorable harvests and perform sacred dances to music known as kagura. To share the blessings of nature with the gods, village festivals are held with specially prepared kagura cuisine.

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Regional foods: Kagura Cuisine

Kagura foods are prepared for all-night kagura gatherings and include simmered foods and sushi rolls made with locally produced ingredients. Essential elements of this sacred cuisine include kappo-dori, chicken steamed in a bamboo container with other ingredients; kappo-zake, sake served heated in a bamboo tube; and kagura udon served with broth made from chicken and burdock root.

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Regional foods: Yakihata soba noodles

Swidden field burning has become rare in Japan, but it remains a regular practice in Shiiba Village. The burning provides excellent nutrients for growing buckwheat, millet, and other grains. Takachiho Beef is a premium brand of beef known for its tender meat and slightly sweet fat, exceptional qualities created by raising cattle with the fresh air and clean water of Takachiho area.

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Scenery: Mosaic Forest in Morotsuka Village

The Togawa rice terraces of Hinokage and the “rice terraces of the Immortals” of Shiiba Village are some of the breathtaking scenery that demonstrate the local farmers’ dedication to rice farming over countless generations. Other sightseeing points to take in are the scenic beauty of Takachiho Gorge, the “mosaic forest” of Morotsuka Village, with its mix of evergreens and deciduous trees, and the peaceful tea plantation landscape of Gokase.

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Activities: Kagura-no-Yakata Inn

The five towns and villages in this area are collectively designated as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System. Stay at a farmhouse to learn how the ideas, lifestyle, culture, and landscape are woven together. Shinto tradition says that gods descended from heaven here; experience the mystical atmosphere of Takachihogo-Shiibayama and see for yourself the natural healing properties.

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Sightseeing route: Amano Yasugawara

A farmhouse stay helps you learn and experience the ideas, lifestyle, culture, and landscapes embodied by the agriculture and forestry systems of the mountainous regions of five towns and villages, designated as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System. The mystical atmosphere of Takachihogo and Shiibayama, where tradition says that gods once set their feet, will heal both your body and your soul.

Inquiries

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Name Forestopia Takachihogo Tourism Association
URL http://forestpia.heteml.net