Living in Harmony with Nature

The Sosuikyo Gorge in Yaotsu Town, Kamo District, Gifu Prefecture, is a canyon about 2 kilometers long. It is the most downstream gorge created by the Kiso River and is counted among the Thirty-six Scenic Views of the Kiso Three Rivers. It is also designated as part of the Hida-Kiso River Quasi-National Park. Because the flow of the Kiso River has become gentler from this point, in the past, it served as a 'tsunaba' (a place for binding logs into rafts) for transporting timber to Inuyama and Nagoya. Our ancestors skillfully harnessed the power of water and rivers, transporting goods from the mountains to the sea with a method that had a smaller environmental impact than today's practices.

Considering the ‘Ideal Form’ of Yaotsu, Nurtured by Nature.

In the past, Yaotsu was a key location for assembling rafts from timber cut in the upper reaches of the Kiso River, and it was also a place where various goods were traded. Transporting goods via river is called ‘boat transportation.’ Specialty products from the mountainous regions were carried on human and horseback along the Kurose Highway, passing through the relay point of Kutami, then transported to Kurose Minato on the Kiso River, and from there, shipped downstream on boats. The cargo load of a single downstream boat was about 460 kan (approximately 1725 kg), consisting of charcoal, firewood, ice, timber, konnyaku yams, tea, raw silk, and various grains. Yaotsu Town flourished by skillfully utilizing the power of the rivers and wind, living in harmony with nature’s rhythm. In modern times, as economic activities and lifestyles change, values and ways of living were also transformed. However, living in harmony with nature is an important approach to building a sustainable future. Let’s consider the necessary ways of living in the modern era to maintain the balance between human society and the global environment and to realize a healthy future.”



The activities of people whose lives were enriched by the water flowing through forests, protected and nourished by forests and water. These activities, in turn, continue to impact the natural environment.

We describe the five dynamics that shape Yaotsu as ‘Forest,’ ‘Water,’ ‘People,’ ‘Things,’ and ‘Heart.’ Recognizing that all these elements interact and cycle together, we will learn what is necessary to maintain the rich environment of this place where we live. Let’s also look back at the balanced life of the past, skillfully utilizing mountains and forests, and deepen our knowledge about Yaotsu while enjoying the process.