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Takachihogo-Shiibayama, designated as the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems -Share with the World the Sustainable Knowledge Cultivated in the Everyday Life of Mountain Villages-

Regional: Takachihogo-Shiibayama

People have engaged in agriculture and forestry in the mountainous regions of Takachihogo and Shiibayama with a sense of awe for nature. They have prayed to the gods for a good harvest and offered their kagura (Shinto) dance and music in many different places throughout the region. Kagura cuisine served at village festivals has been handed down for generations as local traditional food which is eaten with the gods, giving thanks for the blessings of nature.

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Local food: Kagura Cuisine

Kagura cuisine is served during the yokagura (ancient Shinto music and dance which starts in the night and ends in the morning). An assortment of locally grown foodstuffs cooked by simmering and sushi rolls are arranged in a big container and served. Kappo-dori, chickens steamed in a bamboo container, kappo-zake, sake served in a heated green bamboo tube, and kagura udon, noodles served in soup stock made from chicken and burdock root, are also indispensable for kagura cuisine.

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Local food: Yakihata soba noodles

The tradition of field burning, which is rare in Japan, still remains in Shiiba Village. Various grains, such as buckwheat and Japanese millet, grown in the burnt fields, are used in cooking to create exquisite cuisine, such as Yakihaya soba (buckwheat) noodles. Cattle raised in the fresh air and clean water of Takachihogo become the premium beef brand, “Takachiho beef,” a beef which is tender and whose fat is slightly sweet. The full-flavored beef is just exceptional.

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Scenery: Mosaic Forest in Morotsuka Village

The scenic beauty of Takachiho Gorge, the Togawa rice terraces in Hinokage Town, and the “Hermit’s rice terraces” (Machu Picchu of Japan) in Shiiba Village; spectacular scenery unfolds before your eyes, evoking the zeal for rice growing felt by the forefathers. The mosaic forest in Morotsuka Village and the landscape of the tea plantations in Gokase Town help soothe the mind.

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Experience: Kagura-no-Yakata Inn

You can enjoy kagura cuisine while watching yokagura music and dance in Takachiho Town, and try making yakihata buckwheat noodles yourself in Shiiba Village. Other attractions include kamairicha tea making in Gokase Town, forest therapy and straw work in Hinokage Town, and shiitake mushroom picking in Morotuska Village.

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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://www.takachiho-go.jp

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