Yatsugatake walk vol.8

a perfect guide of Yatsugatake area for tourists

Southern Yatsugatake Highland resort

Kiyosato Highland (P.13)

Southern Yatsugatake Highland resort
Kiyosato Highland

The Southern Yatsugatake highland region is situated at the most Northern tip of the Yamanashi prefecture, starting at an altitude of 1000 meters.

Enjoy the views of the surrounding 3000 m-class mountains such as the Southern Alps and Mt.Fuji, meadows and valleys.

There are many idyllic western styled petite hotels, cafes, museums etc. scattered in the area which were brought by pioneers, offering a sophisticated taste, and where one can spend time for relaxation.


The way of Kiyosato

“Do your best, and it must be first class,” were the words left behind by Kiyosato pioneer, Paul Rush. Mr. Jouji Funaki (Moeginomura village chief), who grew up with him, is now working and sweating beside friends on one of his major business projects, “Natural Garden Moegi.” The words emanating from the scene paint a picture of the distinctive landscape I saw as a child and which I believe as a leader, should illuminate the way forwards into the future.

I grew up in the dormitory of Kiyosato Rural Center (predecessor of the Keep Association), and when I was a child, calves and sheep were my friends. After returning from elementary school, it was a daily routine to clear the newly cultivated fields from stones. At home, we only had one naked light bulb, and the bathtub was just a drum. In the fall, we went to cut trees in the forest to prepare for the winter. It was all manual work using a saw and ax. The undeveloped woodlands were very beautiful. Around the St. Andrew's church was a lily of the valley field, and all the way up to the Seisenryo Dormitory there was a garden with mountain azaleas and wild grasses and flowers. After that, I observed the changes in time. What we are focusing now is the concept from the pioneering are of “co-existence of people and nature”, and the beauty of the natural landscape that emerges from it.

It has been 9 years since meeting Mr. Paul Smither, and we started the challenge to create a new garden. Presently, the “Natural Garden Of Moegi” has become a very comfortable place for microorganisms in the soil, insects, butterflies, wild birds, and wild plants. Humans are able to live in polluted air, but butterflies are so sensitive they can not live without clean air.  
The butterflies and larvae are eaten by birds, thus creating the cycle of life. When you experience the feeling that you as a human being are a part of this, you feel calm and mysteriously, your view of the world changes dramatically. I want people who visit to become aware of this sense. It would be great if this movement would spread through Kiyosato and the Yatsugatake area in general. (Excerpt from the ”Monthly Jouji-san" on the Moeginomura website.)