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Hiyo Koke-no-sato Moss Garden

064In Hiyo-machi, located southeast of Komatsu City, there is a beautiful moss garden that has been preserved for generations. The rural landscape, which features the moss garden, a forest of Hiyo-sugi (Japanese cedar), streams, paddy fields with dragonflies flitting about, as well as old houses, has retained its beautiful, typically Japanese nature and culture. The Hiyo moss garden area has been designated as one of Japan’s 100 best agricultural landscapes.

This garden is highly rated both in Japan and abroad for the various types of moss that grow in it. The geographical features of the valley, as well as the climate of the Hokuriku region, were conducive to the formation of the garden. Thinning of the forest has created sunny areas, semi-shaded areas and shaded ares, which are suited to the growth of different typ
es of moss. A survey conducted by moss experts has confirmed the presence of 48 varieties of moss, and the Japan Moss Association Conference was held here.

It is presumed that this beautiful garden was formed as a result of the daily activities of local residents, such as gathering autumn leaves and dead branches to burn in cooking ovens, bath furnaces and fireplaces, as well as the natural environment, which is suitable for the growth of moss.

Now, the nature, culture and landscape of the Hiyo moss garden area are being preserved by the Hiyo Moss Garden Preservation Council, a regional grass roots organization, in cooperation with the volunteer association “Forest of Wisdom”.

IMG_2130The Hiyo Moss Garden Preservation Council is a gathering of people from various parts of Japan, as well as from overseas; it endeavors to acquire as much expertise as possible. The new Forest of Wisdom Project, which aims to create a place for people to experience typically Japanese nature and the culture of living in harmony with nature, has been launched, along with a system for receiving visitors from both inside and outside of Japan. The project also aims to develop the landscape while making continuous use of local resources, and to perpetuate the local nature and culture. The project is expected to expand in the future.

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