Hello from the edge of Nara

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Zakiyama
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Hello from the edge of Nara

Post by Zakiyama »

Living in the mountains of Nara near the intersection of Mie and Wakayama. Zone 7-9, most rainfall in the country. Looking to start regenerative agroforestry and reclaim fields abandoned to "mulch". And maybe take care of some of these akiya....so much to do, hardly anyone to do it.
Haven't connected with anyone in this village, population about 900. Seems like most people have stayed here out of obligation. I'm at home with our toddler and don't have time to freely cultivate friendships anyway.
Was happy to find this online community that I might fit into....yoroshiku onegaishimaaasu.

UshikuDan
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Re: Hello from the edge of Nara

Post by UshikuDan »

Welcome and post your agricultural progress here.

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gonbechan
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Re: Hello from the edge of Nara

Post by gonbechan »

@Zakiyama Welcome. Looking forward to hearing about your adventures with akiya and abandoned land.

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Zasso Nouka
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Re: Hello from the edge of Nara

Post by Zasso Nouka »

Welcome to Japan Simple Life Zakiyama and a massive thank you for singing up.

Sounds like you've got some exciting times ahead and busy too, so many opportunities await. The agroforestry sounds quite interesting, will that be part of a community project or something you plan to kick start yourself ?

You've got plenty of time to settle into your community and having a young child will surely help in the long run, we're certainly happy to welcome you into our online community.

Zakiyama
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Re: Hello from the edge of Nara

Post by Zakiyama »

Thanks for the welcome everyone!
(Agro)forestry is part of a community project headed by the town office. 92% of the town is forested mountains, most of which is planted cedar. Cedar isn't profitable anymore and mostly abandoned. The town is trying to think of ways to make the forests/mountains profitable again. We are proposing agroforestry and recreational uses. We own some land already and could potentially steward more.

The town is taking full advantage of the chiikiokoshi kyooryokutai 地域おこし協力隊 grant system. This is what ultimately brought us here last October. It's a nice financial cushion to get settled and set up businesses.

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Zasso Nouka
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Re: Hello from the edge of Nara

Post by Zasso Nouka »

Sounds like a great opportunity, cedar tree monoculture certainly does make for a boring forest. Will you be trying to diversify the range of species growing in your forests ?

Zakiyama
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Re: Hello from the edge of Nara

Post by Zakiyama »

Yes! We are looking to restore as much diversity as we can.
There was a cedar boom around fifty years ago during which cedar was planted in every nook and cranny of this village; along the river banks, in unused rice paddies, the back yard, the road side, hillside pasture....
We are still in early planning stages, but it would be cool if we could replant the most easily accessed areas with forest gardens and silvopastures and restore more remote areas to a natural ecology.

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Re: Hello from the edge of Nara

Post by Zasso Nouka »

Gonna be a huge longterm project but I'm sure it's going to be very satisfying watching it gradually take shape over the coming years and knowing you'll be handing it down to future generations.

We've got a huge amount of cedar planted in our area too and while it's nice to have trees around not many folk take care of the land anymore as it's not worth it and younger people have neither the inclination or time to do it.

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Re: Hello from the edge of Nara

Post by Brandon88 »

Hi Zakiyama! Im really interested to touch base with you. My wife and I are currently making effort to move to the same region as you! We also have visions of returning the mountains to their natural beauty, reclaiming abandoned fields, and repairing some akiya. I would love to chat a bit more with someone already living in the region, with similar ideas and goals. Looking forward to chatting!
Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!!!!

Zakiyama
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Re: Hello from the edge of Nara

Post by Zakiyama »

Hi Brandon!
Thanks for reaching out! We only just moved here last October, but I'm happy to share everything I know so far. Chat away!

We live in Shimokitayamamura; most everyone we've interacted with has been pretty welcoming and open-minded. Did you have a place in mind or are you still looking?