「山里」カテゴリーアーカイブ

Village of hardness and beauty

In September, fresh green colors are covering mountains and valleys where is covered by snow sometimes more than 4-5 meters in winter.
In September, fresh green colors are covering mountains and valleys where is covered by snow sometimes more than 4-5 meters in winter.

Shimizu is the last village to the mount Makihata which is acclaimed one of the best 100 mountains in Japan.

At shimizu, Less than 20 households are living calmly surrounded by beautiful forest.

There was a pass way connecting Echigo and Kanto area through Shimizu village and this village saw some tycoons and their samurais moving toward Kanto area for their battle.

Shimizu is the one of the place which has the heaviest snow falls in this snowy area. People need to fight with the snow for surviving.
Shimizu is the one of the place which has the heaviest snow falls in this snowy area. People need to fight with the snow for surviving.

Elevation is around 600 meters and in the winter season easily over 4 meter of snow covers the village.

The blanch school had closed 20 years ago and very limited number of children are living here.

Aged 20 families are just staying here. Slopes are steep so that rice paddies are not easy to set.
Lumbering business is dying away pressed by cheap imported materials. Maintenance work for high voltage power lines which had been supporting the village economy is shrinking hard because of advancement of remote monitoring technology. The future of the village is really on the edge.

On the other hand, nature of the mountain is still health. Mountain goats, monkeys and bears are walking around the village. Villagers keep their own way of life collecting mountain vegetables in the spring and variety of mushrooms in the fall.

天上の楽園・・・後山集落

集落のシンボルである小学校。木造の新しい校舎は、時計台付き。
集落のシンボルである小学校。木造の新しい校舎は、時計台付き。

後山集落は、新幹線の駅から車でわずか10分。標高400メートルのかつての「陸の孤島」には、天上の楽園のような光景が広がる。

上越新幹線浦佐駅から車で10分ほど坂道を上って、新しいトンネルを抜けると、空が一杯に広がる後山集落に入ります。

「天上の楽園」のようなドラマチックな場所です。新しく出来た後山小学校は木造のかわいらしい建物。その裏手にきれいなブナ林が広がっています。

小学校の裏にあるブナ林。見事なブナの木々が天を覆う緑の屋根を作り出している。
小学校の裏にあるブナ林。見事なブナの木々が天を覆う緑の屋根を作り出している。

50世帯弱の家は、中央部に広がる水田をはさんで並んでいます。かつては地滑りにも悩まされた地域。

水がなかったために村人たちが手掘りで1キロ以上もトンネルを掘って隣の沢筋から水を流して、田に引きこむという努力がなされています。また、険しい山あいの道しかなかったために、また手掘りでトンネルを掘って交通を確保した歴史もあります。農業法人を作って作物を新しい市場に出そうという試みも始まっています。

集落のウェブサイトもあります。
http://www.usiroyama.gr.jp/