「Snow」カテゴリーアーカイブ

Day 5) Move to the snow country 初めての雪にびっくり

Snow in Minami-Uonuma. 大きな雪が迎えてくれた。
After farewell to the host family, We left Tokyo to Niigata. We shared the precious memory of a fun homestay and the feeling of expectation for the first snow in the bus.

After the Kanetsu tunnel, the snowy landscape showed up.The beautiful scenery took our breath away.
In Niigata, the local high school students came to meet us. We shared our own culture and the problems what we have each other.

 日本訪問の第5日目の3月15日、ヤップ島からの中高生たちは、首都圏でのホームステイから戻って、まだ雪が残る南魚沼に移動しました。

 楽しい時間を過ごしたホストファミリーとお別れをし、いよいよ新潟へ。楽しいホームステイの思い出と初めての雪への期待からバスの中は賑やかで笑顔が絶えませんでした。関越トンネルを抜けて広がる銀世界に彼らの歓声が驚き、息をのみ雪景色に魅入っている様子は印象的でした。

 新潟では、図書館の見学をし、地元の高校生とお互いの地域の紹介や抱えている問題の共有をしました。夕方には早速雪の中を散策。雪を投げ合ったり、雪解け水を飲んだりし、雪を存分に楽しんでいました。

Snow lantern. 雪灯籠で楽しむ。
In the evening we walked around the snow. We enjoyed the snow by throwing the snow balls each other and drinking the water from the melting snow.For dinner we ate local cuisines and self-made miso-soup and rice, After the dinner, we went out again and tried to make snow-candles. All of us made our original snow candles.

 夕方には、スキー場のそばにある施設に到着。地元の料理と自分たちで作ったお味噌汁とお米をいただきました。夕食後には再び外に出て雪灯籠作りにチャレンジ。それぞれ思い思いの雪灯籠を作りました。

Reported by OHNISHI Mao, NAOI Saki

Snow camp in the ““Snow country”

From March 26th to the 29th, 2016, ECOPLUS hosted the ““Yuki Zanmai,” or “Snow Indulgence” Camp” in Minami-Uonuma. Seven participants, all from elementary and middle schools in the Metropolitan area and Niigata enjoyed four days and three nights of living on the snow, where they all constructed their campsite entirely on their own.

巻機山のふもとまでハイキング。山に囲まれた絶景の中を歩きます。
Hiking on the snow toward the middle of Mt. Makihata. Gorgeous view!

This winter, we experienced an uncharacteristically small amount of snow. Despite being 600 meters above sea level, the village of Shimizu looked almost as though it was experiencing early spring.

Ordinarily, there would have been between 2 – 3 meters of snowfall by this point during an average year; instead, the area received an approximate 50 centimeters of snow this year. Due to this, we were worried that the “Snow Indulgence Camp” might not succeed, but we were blessed with good weather, and the children faced the challenge of living in the snow with a serious, sincere look in their eyes.

4日間、子どもたち自身で暮らしを組み立てます。初めは薪を割って火を起こすのも一苦労。
Children challenged to live on the snow by themselves. Making fire woods on the snow was one of the first duties.

A total of seven children was assembled of from fourth-year elementary school students to first-year middle school students. Some of the children had participated in ECOPLUS programs once or twice before, but this was their first time as a group in this area, as well as the first time holding an overnight camp on the snow. Everybody had a bit of a nervous look to him or her.

The children decided on their goals for the camp—some said, “It is important to take care of the environment,” while others said, “We hope to make friends here.” Once this was done, the Snow Indulgence Camp could begin.

Throughout the next four days, the children’s everyday necessities and personal lives were self-led. They trampled the snow underfoot in order to harden it, creating a space to raise their tents; they split wood for their fires; they melted snow for drinking water; and they made tables, chairs, cupboards for food, and even makeshift toilets entirely from snow. They even used snow to wipe their bottoms afterward!

They also used cedar leaves like sponges while washing their pots and pans. On the first day of the camp program, the children were confused about this new way of living, but they became as resilient as adults in only four days’ time.

Encountered a big hawk, Snow camp in Tochikubo

穏やかな天候の中で、雪に包まれた体験をすることが出来ました。
Under the gorgeous blue sky, children enjoyed the nature and life in Tochikubo.

From the 9th of January to the 11th, ECOPLUS held our program, “Experiencing Natural Mountain Life: Winter Edition”, in Tochikubo village in Niigata prefecture.

The program was aimed at elementary school children, and we had 17 participants. Thirteen of them were city kids from metropolitan area, and the other four were students from Niigata prefecture.

The weather was thankfully very calm throughout, and everybody enjoyed getting to play in the snow under the blue sky.

We started the first day with many nervous faces when we conducted the orientation. The orientation began with self-introductions and some games. Afterwards we covered important things to be careful about and to watch out for. Lastly we broke them up into two groups regarding daily responsibilities, and gave some time for the two groups to discuss things together.

From the afternoon onwards, they were waiting in anticipation to be able to play in the snow. The snow was approximately 40cm deep, and when they finally could, they eagerly changed into their snow gear.

This was actually significantly less snow than on average. Regardless, for the kids the world still seemed to be completely covered in snow. They made snow huts (these snow huts, kamakura are traditionally made by kids in mid-January), had snow ball fights, and sled. The local kids even joined them in on the fun. The sound of laughing children echoed in the village.

数百メートル先の山の上にいるクマタカを発見、みんなで観察しました。
Children observed a big hawk, called “Kumataka” on a branch of a tree hundreds meters away.

On the second day we focused on observing nature. A local knowledgeable about the nature here accompanied us as a special guest. On the snow covered path he led us to the outskirts of the village. There we were able to get a phenomenal view of the mountains and forest. We even were able to see a very rare bird, a Tinnitus Mountain Hawk, perched on one of the mountain trees.

The kids were fascinated by the bird. After getting a telescope to confirm that it actually was a Tinnitus Mountain Hawk, we examined it for a while. For around half an hour it stayed in the same spot. When it finally flew away we could see the striped pattern of its back feathers. The kids tried to follow the bird until it disappeared from sight.

For the three days of the program, we borrowed the villageÆs assembly hall, and camped in there. The kids were responsible for cooking their own meals. For the most part, everything from cutting the ingredients, to cooking them, was done completely by them with some supervision.

On the last day, our closing event was a discussion and retrospective. While a completely new experience for many of the children, they spoke very fondly of the past three days. One kid enthusiastically said, ôSince I am an only child, it was especially fun to spend time here with lots of friendsö. Most of the other responses were quite similar.

From March 26th to the 29th, we will be holding a similar event, but this time aimed at older students. ôExperiencing Natural Mountain Life: Lingering Snow Seasonö will be open for 5th graders to high school students. We will tent over the snow for three nights and four days. We are eagerly awaiting this upcoming program.

(Translation, Victor Lane)

雪の中でカモシカやウサギ、リスに出会う

2015年2月28-3月1日、新潟県南魚沼市の清水集落で、「清水生きもの復活大作戦早春の巻」を行いました。雪に覆われた森を歩き、森の生きものを食事にいただいて、山里の自然と暮らしにふれました。

山里の生物多様性を高め、地域づくりにもつなげようと展開している「生きもの復活大作戦」では、初めての雪の季節の開催となりました。

参加したのは首都圏からの親子連れ、会社員、学生など計12人。北野日出男・元日本環境教育フォーラム会長、横山隆一・日本自然保護協会参事、深沢和基・六日町高校教諭の3人の専門家も勢ぞろい、集落住民も加わりました。

大きなブナの木の下で、ティータイム。
大きなブナの木の下で、ティータイム。

初日は、穏やかな天候で陽が差す春のような陽気。除雪された道路から、高さ2m以上もある雪の壁を上ってかんじきをはきました。地元で今も使われる伝統的な丸いかんじき。村人はヒモを使って簡単に装着していますが、慣れない参加者は、何度もはずれて四苦八苦です。

数百m先の斜面にいたカモシカの姿を単眼鏡などで追います。
数百m先の斜面にいたカモシカの姿を単眼鏡などで追います。

広い雪原を歩いていくと、遠くの雪の斜面にカモシカを発見。双眼鏡や単眼鏡で見ると、急な場所で雪の中から頭だけ出ている木の枝に盛んに食いついているのが観察できました。

Straw rope making, 縄ないを習う

After enjoyed playing in the snow, elder persons of the village taught students how to make rope with rice straw. In Yap, rope is made from coconuts fiber. Students were quite good rope makers, elders admired.

雪の中で遊んだ後、集落の長老たちが集まって縄ないを指導してくれました。ヤップではココヤシの繊維でヤシロープを作ります。「この人たちはうまいなあ」と長老たちはヤップの若者の手先の器用さに驚いていました。

130326縄ない

Joverlyn made a small sandal with this local elder.

ジョベリンは、このおじいさんにワラジをあませてもらいました。130326sandaljoverlyn

Boys took the first hot spring in their life time.

男の子たちは、人生初めての温泉体験。

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Snow ball fighting! March 26th, 雪合戦に夢中!

(by Xinle Su)
Today started off with a trip to the local junior high school! Unfortunately I wasn’t able to be there but looked on as the school girls bade farewell warmly to the Yap youths. It sure seemed fun!
We went to Tochikubo Village soon after, when it was time to play in the snow! Before we even went to the actual snow playing area, chaos had already erupted as the youths started snowball fights. When we reached the snow area, youths had fun sleighing down slopes, building snowmans and houses, and barbecuing marshmallows. Before long, two hours had passed, and we trudged back to the community house tired but satisfied, ready to fill our stomachs with delicious local food. A kind of food of worthy mention during lunch was fermented soybeans, otherwise known as natto, which can apparently only be found in Japan. The 豚汁tonjiru was filled with much ingredients and warmed our freezing bodies.
130326塩沢中学校2s.jpg 130326イグルーの前s.jpg
At the same community house, we were joined by 4 masters of straw-craft who taught us how to make sandals from straw. While it required much effort and patience to get the technique right, it seems that quite a few people completed making the sandals!

We returned to our lodging after that, at which point dinner preparations started. We had this “competition” whereby everyone in the cooking team had to cook his or her own version of fried rice, with a variety of seasonings offered. One interesting dish was from Christo, who added curry seasoning. Thumbs up for the imagination!

After a brief rest, we had one of our longest meetings! We divided into three groups to talk about experiences in Niigata and Tokyo after a general discussion. The atmosphere was lively and brimming with energy.

Everyone was dismissed at about 10, so they must be really tired from such a long day. お疲れ様でした!

朝、地元の塩沢中学校を訪問。春休み中でしたが、「英語クラブ」の5人らが学校の案内をしてくれました。

次に栃窪集落に行きました。雪がいっぱい。活動場所に行く前から雪合戦が始まって大騒ぎ。森を抜けた先にある広い場所に行き、ソリ滑りや雪だるまづくり、雪の家づくりなどで2時間があっという間に経ちました。たき火であぶったマシュマロもおいしかったです。

お昼ご飯は、地元の女性が作ってくれた具だくさんの豚汁が冷え切った体を暖めてくれました。地元のいろんな食材の中で人気があったのは、納豆でした。

午後は、4人の地元のおじいさんたちが集まってくれて、稲ワラから縄やわらじを作る方法を習いました。

宿に戻った後は、自分たちで夕食の準備。当番のそれぞれが自分流の味付けでチャーハンを作りました。クリストはカレー味。いいアイデアでした。

夜は午後10時まで、これまでの活動をふり返ってのグループディスカッション。長い一日ご苦労さまでした。        今日の記録係 シンレ・スー

Running in the snow, 雪の中で走り回る

 

It was snowing this morning in Minami-Uonuma. Students visited Tochikubo-village, a mountainous community with 4 meters of snow in mid-winter. Still meters of snow was covering rice paddies and they start snow ball fighting naturally.

南魚沼は朝から雪でした。時には4mにもなる豪雪の村で、生徒たちは自然と雪合戦を初めて夢中になっていました。

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Some of them made a monument with a stone money on top.

何人かが作った雪の塔。一番上にヤップの石貨が乗っていました。OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Even on the snow, students moved freely as same as in Yap.

慣れない雪の上なのに、ヤップの若者たちの動きは機敏。雪の上を走り回っていました。OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Intimate homes, 日本の家庭にひたる

After 15 years, Tina met with her host family in Japan. At that time she was a high school students and now she is leading the team.

15年前にホームステイした家族と再会した今回の引率者ティナ。前回は高校生でした。

130325懇親会Tina再開s

Coming back from home staying, students and family members had nice time over sushi roll.

ホームステイから戻った若者たちは、ホームステイ先の家族のみなさんと一緒に、手巻き寿司をつまみながら、話を楽しみました。

130325懇親会全景s

 

When the party concluded, the snow started. Temperature was going down. Next day, we will go to mountain side..

楽しい懇談会を終えると、外は雪。一気に冷え込んできました。

130325夜の雪s

Arrived to the snow country, 雪の新潟に到着

130324公民館からs

After having 2 nights at host families in Tokyo, students from Yap moved to Minamiuonuma, Niigata, where still 1 meter of snow remains.

東京でホームステイ2泊を過ごした一行は、まだ1mの雪が残る新潟県南魚沼市に移動しました。

130324塩沢引き渡し全員s

Again, they are to have one more night with Japanese families here. They will experience life in rural Japan.

こちらでもう1泊、ホームステイ。日本の地方の暮らしを体験します。130324空手02s

Some of those were joining Karate class at the community center.

何人かは公民館で空手の基礎を教えてもらいました。

Life in a snow village and local wisdom

On Jan. 22th to 23rd, ECOPLUS organized the Snow Village Workshop called “Snow Shoveling and Preserved Food in a Snow Country” at Tochikubo Village, Minami-uonuma City, Niigata. Ten participants mainly from Kanto region enjoyed snow shoveling with the locals and learned the food preservation methods and cooking.
Tochikubo sees snow more than 4 meters high in winter. The participants, most of them had little experience with deep snow, helped local people remove snow around houses and learned about winter food preservation methods, passed down over generations.

Experiencing snow shoveling.
Experiencing snow shoveling.

 With the guidance from the locals, the participants learned how to use shovels and snow-dumps (A tool like a big square shovel which can take large amount of snow) and helped remove snow around houses of elderly residents. Although they struggled to use the tools at first, they seemed to be enjoying snow shoveling.
A participant with the first snow shoveling experience said ‘I was surprised to discover that snow is really heavy’.

Cooking lunch with the local women.
Cooking lunch with the local women.

 On the second day, the participants visited Mrs Kuwabara, who is the 80-year-old instructor of the day, and studied the way she stored vegetables and pickles for winter. Then divided into few groups, everyone cooked lunch taught by the local women, using preserved foods.

The participants commented in their feedback as follows.
‘I felt achievement after the snow shoveling.’
‘I learned seasoning methods by cooking together with the local women.’
‘I felt the strong link between the lifestyle of the snow country and the local food culture.’