Yatsugatake walk vol.8

a perfect guide of Yatsugatake area for tourists

Yatsugatake, southern Alps Sake Tour
To the sea without soiling the excellent water of the forest 

The Yatsugatake and Southern Alps area produces a wide variety of delicious sake including Japanese sake, whiskey, wine, beer, and Shochu.
It is due to the exquisite water of each region that makes it possible to produce delicious sake. The water becomes a river flowing into the sea, nurturing various lives before it goes up into the sky, and returns to the mountains as rain again.
At present, the pollution of the oceans represents a global problem. Although the Yamanashi prefecture has no borders to the ocean, the NPO "Spacefuu" develops activities in a bit to reduce marine pollution.

Hiroko Nagai
Chairwoman of authorized NPO "Spacefuu"
And representative for Civic organizationscitizen's group "Yamanashi Microplastic Reduction Project" which measures against sea garbage.

Reduce disposable plastic containers!
Lending reused tableware to events


"Spacefuu" is a recognized NPO corporation based in Fujikawa town, Minamikoma-gun, Yamanashi Prefecture. The pillar of its activities is the rental of reusable tableware.
About 20 years ago, representative Ms. Nagai became aware of the enormous amount of garbage of tableware and cups produced at an event venue. She keenly realized "We can not leave this for our children or grandchildren."
At that time, she learned during a lecture by an environmental journalist that reusable tableware was popular during events in Germany. Together with friends with whom she was running the recycle shop "Spacefuu" at the time, she started the rental of reusable tableware.
In the Yatsugatake Walk area, and especially in Hokuto city the usage at events is increasing. "In recent years the usage at personal sponsored events has increased. I feel that reused tableware is gradually becoming commonplace in society," says Ms. Nagai.
The issue for the future is sustainability. "In many cases, the organizer is now paying for the rent of the tableware. When participants start to be willing to carry the costs, and society starts to think more Eco-friendly, an Eco event is not an impossibility I think."

Nationwide rental business with reuse tableware fuu net

Shortly after "Spacefuu" started the re-use tableware rental business, orders came in from all over the country. Following the success, we became concerned about the environmental impact of long-distance transportation. Therefore, in 2006, we established the "Reuse Tableware Fuu Net" to support the launch of the re-use tableware rental business across the country. Currently, 15 groups from all over Japan participate.

Reduce plastic flowing into the ocean!
The Yamanashi Micro Plastic Reduction Project

Plastic waste thrown into the river degrades into minute particles, "Microplastic", with a diameter of 5 mm or less on its way to the ocean. This is caused by friction and exposure to ultraviolet light. Because chemical substances are added during the production process, there is concern about the negative impact of plastic on marine life.
When she participated as a volunteer in a garbage collection activity on the Shonan beach, Ms. Nagai learned that 70 to 80% of the garbage on the coast came from up the rivers. "I used to think the problem was because of other people, but  suddenly I realized it was my problem too," she said.
And, in 2018, in addition to "Spacefuu", nine groups including environmental groups in Yamanashi prefecture gathered to establish the "Yamanashi Micro Plastic Reduction Project.
Lectures and screenings are organized and citizens, governmental bodies, and companies are working together to encourage Yamanashi prefecture to reduce microplastics. Garbage in rivers is not the sole source of microplastics. They are equally present in domestic wastewater. The more people living upstream become aware of this, the more it will help to preserve marine life.