The people of Yamanashi, a prefecture located near the center of Japan’s main island of Honshu, enjoy an exceptionally close relationship with nature. Considering that an incredible 78% of the prefecture is covered in forest, this is, perhaps, not surprising. In addition to its tree-covered slopes, Yamanashi is also home to numerous forms of agriculture, and it is renowned for its clean air, pure water and abundance of fresh produce. This deep connection with nature has in recent years inspired Yamanashi locals and officials to direct their efforts toward sustainable development goals. These goals — focused on issues such as the conservation, restoration and the overall preservation of the various natural landscapes that make up Yamanashi — are designed to ensure that the prefecture can continue to prosper for generations to come. Their dedication was recently shared with the international community at the inaugural event of World Forest Yamanashi, a special area dedicated to exchange supported by activities such as commemorative tree planting.

An Event Promoting International Exchange

A secluded forest clearing in the foothills of Mount Fuji was the stage for the World Forest Yamanashi kickoff event. Clear weather prevailed for the occasion, which was attended by international officials from across the globe. The event opened with an incredible live ocarina performance by Satoshi Osawa, a tourism ambassador for Yamanashi Prefecture. Local officials, including the prefecture’s governor, Kotaro Nagasaki, addressed the international guests in attendance, focusing on the importance of sustainability and the value of international exchange. Various global issues were covered, including climate change and deforestation as well as the need for continued cooperation regarding nature conservation across the globe. In addition, a warm invitation was extended to the wider community expressing the hope that World Forest Yamanashi would play host to future international forums and continue contributing to the preservation of nature around the world. Following the conclusion of the speeches, a single Fuji cherry tree was planted by Japanese officials to symbolize the opening of World Forest Yamanashi as well as a commitment to the future of sustainability both at home and abroad. After this, local junior high school students helped international guests plant their own trees, which included a variety of mountain cherry trees and maple and oak trees known to thrive in the area.

A Sustainable Future

With the new saplings planted firmly in the earth, a commitment to a more environmentally conscious future was then shared across nationalities and generations with smiles, handshakes and laughs in moments that reflected the importance of sustainable living for people from all walks of life. A success from start to finish, the World Forest Yamanashi kickoff event, along with the enthusiastic participation of both local and international guests, laid the foundation for a bright future characterized by collaboration and sustainability.

World Forest Yamanashi Location Info

National Tree Planting Festival Commemorative Plaza
Narusawa Village, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi Prefecture