Kuromatsunai Home to Japans Northenmost Beech Forest
Kuromatsunai is a small town in the middle of Kuromatsunai lowland in Southern Hokkaido. Having both the sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean very close to itself, this town has mountains, hills, Wetlands, rivers, and the seas, all unusual for Hokkaido that has a vast area. This town is also well-known as being the northern limit for the beech forest in Jaoan. The natural treasure “Utasai beech forest(Utasai buna rin) ” is a higly valued forest that the people of town have twice protected from being cut down.
Local Guide Profile:Takafumi Homma’TAK’
Tak currently serves as secretary-general of the Kuromatsunai Tourist Association. Over the past 10 years, he has worked to develop outdoor activities in the Southern Hokkaido area. He has extensive experience in unusual and innovative tourism development. Recent activities include an ‘Eco-Mobility town project’ using human power (walking, cycling, canoeing) to explore the Kuromatsunai lowlands, where the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan to draw nearest in Japan. Tak studied fine arts in London. Following his studies, he worked in the UK as a media coordinator. His travels throughout the UK and other countries included rambling and hillwalking in England, Scotland, and Wales, including England’s largest national park, Yorkshire Dales and Lake District. After returning to his homeland, Hokkaido, he joined the environmental organization at Sarobetsu National Park where he learned about the ecosystem and environmental education. Now, he is passionate about working with local communities to establish sustainable tourism in the northern most beech forest town of Kuromatsunai.
・Wilderness Advanced First Aid /Wilderness Medical Association International
・Land operation service, Travel supervisor/Travel and Conductor Collage
・Green Tourism Coordinator Certificate/Japan Municipalities Exchange Organization
・Cambridge English First Certificate/Cambridge Assessment English
・Safety and Rescuer Program Qualification/Japan Safe Canoeing Association
・Project WILD Educator/ Project WILD Japan
・Treeing Climber Certificate/Tree Master Climbing Academy
Local Guide Profile:Sachiko Orui (Chiko)
Although Chiko did not grow up camping, kayaking, or anything outdoor, she had gradually developed her interest in nature and in the potential Environmental Education could have. When she studied abroad in Costa Rica, she was awed by the dynamic nature of Costa Rica, and somehow saw herself both working and living close to nature in the future. Now she resides in a rural town of Hokkaido, Kuromatsunai, well known as the village with the Northernmost beech forest in Japan. She works for Bunanomori Nature School, ran by an NPO whose mission is to build human-nature, human-human, and human-society connections. Having spent her high school and college years in Tianjin, China and California, USA respectively, she enjoys showing around Kuromatsunai to guests from abroad. Her recent favorites are walking in beech forests and canoeing down the Shubuto river.
Local Guide Profile:Hiroyuki Maruguchi
He enrolled in a dairy academy in Hokkaido and became a teacher after graduating from university, teaching at elementary schools, junior high schools, and schools for the disabled in Hokkaido.During his time as a teacher, he became interested in education that brings people closer to nature and field-based learning programs that use the five senses, and obtained certification as a nature experience activity NEAL instructor. He has been living in the town of Kuromatsunai for more than 25 years now, and is very fond of the people who live in this environmentally friendly town. After retirement, he is challenging himself to ride around Japan on a French-made “traveling bicycle” called a Randonneur. During the green season, he rides his bike around town almost every day, so if you have any questions about recommended cycling routes or places to stop in Kuromatsunai, please ask him. His wife, Yumiko, runs Mother Nature, a small bakery in town that sells homemade bread and healthy foods. After a day of cycling, it’s always fun to stop in here for a cup of tea and a chat with the locals!
There is a tourist office in the facility called “Kuromatsunai Onsen Buna no Mori” located about 2 miles south of the city center. In addition to offering and guiding various activities, we also rental activity supplies (fishing equipment, ski wear, snowshoes and bicycle etc…).
|Facility||KUROMATSUNAI Tourist Association|
|Address||Kuromatsunaionsembunanomori, 545 Kuromatsunai Kuromatsunai-cho, Suttsu-gun, Hokkaido 048-0101, Japan|
|Hourse||(Mon.-Sun. 9:00am – 5:00pm.JST)|
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KUROMATSUNAI Tourist Association, Tourism planning Team