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Departure: Satoyama

Author: 09.08.2018 | Japan
In Japan there is a city with the citizens who trust each other. It seems that they drink water from one source that flows along their houses. As well, they wash hands after the meals in the same places. Satoyama in translation means an ideal place for life in harmony with the nature. It is situated in Northern prefecture Gifu that is isolated from the rest of the world with the mountain tops and rice fields.

The city Satoyama is cut into two parts with Seto river. It used to be a wide channel that divided citizens to Samurai and peasants. The Samurai built sturdy and rich houses whereas others constructed small houses along the water on the opposite side. Today near the river, on both sides, every day children are crowding with bread crusts. The kids feed colored carps for which Seto river became a house. The fish is not afraid of people and takes food from the arts without hurry, swimming along the channel. Apart from that, there are lampreys, crabs, pigfish, and other living creatures in the water. However, only carps feel the biggest confidence. Also, people are glad to see them in the houses. All the residential areas are equipped with the swimming-pools that are constantly full with the flowing water from Seto river. It takes these waters from the swimming pools in the main channel. Actually, such floods of water are the part of private possessions. The swimming-pools in the houses of Satoyama plays a very important role in the life of citizens. In such a water the vegetables are washed along with greenery, there dishes are washed after the meal. Most often the citizens of the city eat rice, meaning, a lot of boiled seeds come to the water. Nevertheless, they don’t tamper it but serve as the nutrition for the carps. The indicator of purity in Seto is the unique type of candle fish without scale that resides only in the pure sources. The surface of the flood also plays significant role. It has almost been covered with the thick layer of seaweeds. In the daylight the plants emit bubbles of oxygen raising at the surface of the water and cleaning the water with the oxygen.Photo c1.staticflickr.com

Satoyama is special not only because of the river flowing across the residential houses and vivid participation in the process of biotic community. The city is surrounded by the rice fields, there are many vegetable beds. In the forests nearby there are mushrooms and fruits that also serve the food for the locals. The wood is used by the citizens of Satoyama for new buildings and biomass what is the only source of energy for Satoyama citizens, in its turn. The citizens of Satoyama are sure to have got everything necessary for life. They are able to live in a calm manner in their almost perfect world even not taking the blessings of civilization.Photo c1.staticflickr.com

Such an isolated life traditional for ancient Japanese villages has recently been actively supported by the government of the country. It gives possibility to people to do for a living not getting the outside help. In Japan which generally depends on the import of nutrition and energy it is the relevant question. At first, it is benevolent for the health of the people who reside in less stressful environment and, gradually, attract new tourists in the country. Apart from that, the government of the country has invented strategy or, how it is also called in Japan, reconstruction of transformation to the eco-settlements.Photo jlgc.org.uk

The interest to the true-circle processing lifestyle in Japan is growing. The hundreds of tourists come every year to look how and what the ‘isolatos’ live. The office clerks from the neighboring Kyoto come to rest from the city vanity. Many of them for the first time take bicycles while everybody who wants that are able to help the locals to dig their vegetable gardens or catch a carp in the river. In the center of the settlement there is museum of folk crafts. It is prominent not only with its exhibition pieces but also because it is done without any nails. The builders gathered it like a puzzle using the ancient technique of Japanese masters. Those who are hungry take river fish in the small hasheries, houbamiso that is prepared at the leave of magnolia and drink sake.

Cover photo tokyoweekender.com

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