Saturday, 1 May 2010

A research trip to Okayama

On the road for a research trip last month to Okayama. A meet up for all the professors and students to discuss on the research project, doing some fields research and have fun.

Ok lets skip the boring parts of the research and bla bla bla, and go straight to the point. 新庄村(Shinjouson), one of the village that we visited on this trip is one of the most beautiful village that I ever been to. Maybe we just stay in the city for too long, and forget how relaxing, comfortable and rewarding it will be to stay at this village. Big cities in Japan like Tokyo and Osaka is packed with way too lot of people, and is such a waste to leave these beautiful villages behind.

I'm not good at writing, maybe this is one of the reason why I like photography so much. The pictures tell more stories than I could. Hope you enjoy the photos and appreciate the beauty of nature as much as I do.
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This lovely street is at 勝山(katsuyama). Local artists and residents work together and decorate their house with 暖簾(noren), which means curtain in English. The curtains are custom designed and handmade by the artist, and each of them have special meaning to the shop owners. I din't have the time to take photo of each curtain, but if you are interested, please check this page for more photo.
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The lanscape of the village is just way too beautiful compared to the cities congested with concrete cement building.

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The photo at the righthand side, is an open-air bath located at 湯原(yubara). It is totally open air next to the river, and to my surprise, it is also a mixed-bath, which means both man and woman is allowed to enter the bath at the same time, even in the same pool if they like. But I was not that 'lucky' that day, just a bunch of us, all man. I just wonder, in such open space, will there be any women willing to come??

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Here we are, arrived at 新庄村(sinjouson). Warm dinner was serve with local food, planted or collected from the forest, some I can't even tell its name. Nothing expensive, but 100% healthy and environmental friendly, and is one of the most delicious and memorable meal I had ever had.

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On the left, the kind Obasan had work hard throughout the night, filling our stomach. And the Ojisan next to her, is one of the locals who volunteer to preserve the natural environment in the village.

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Some landscape taken around the village, with sakura in their full bloom, the scenery is totally mind blowing.
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Before we head back to the city, we had a short stop at がいせん桜通(Gaisen sakura dōri), one of the famous tourist spot in the village. Another great street to walk around and photo scouting. The purple-color ayamurasakiudon (あやむらさきうどん), made with purple-potato (アヤムラサキイモ) is one of the local special.

The whole post more look like a travel log, than a research trip. But we actually did our job. Visited 2 so called green business-companies in the area that utilized natural resource.

1. Wasted wood during manufacturing is turned into wooden pellet, combusted to provide electricity to run the whole factory.

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2. Forest plantation. The company owns most of the mountain around the village. They manage to keep the natural forest and Japanese cypress plantation in good balance, that help preserve the environment while building up local businesses using the tree and turn them into various product.

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Here is some link for your reference if you find them interesting.

バイオマスタウン真庭 http://www.city.maniwa.lg.jp/html/biomass/

バイオマスツアー真庭 http://www.biomass-tour-maniwa.jp/

銘建工業株式会社 http://www.meikenkogyo.com/

新庄村森林セラピー基地 http://www.fo-society.jp/quarter/chugoku/shinjyo.html

國六株式会社新庄事務所 http://www.kuniroku.co.jp/company/sinjyo.html

株式会社ヒノキ http://www.catgoods.co.jp/


3 comments:

  1. Speechless
    simply breathtaking

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  2. wahhhh...really a nice place and also because of your perfect skill set! I wanna book your time soon...

    ReplyDelete

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