After hundreds of years, what beech trees bring to us.
This region’s natural water is known as Natural Gassan Water; selected as one of Japan’s 100 Famed Mineral Waters. According to one theory, with an age of over four hundred years, snowpack and rainwater go through a long filtration and percolation process, gushing out of the ground and becoming alkaline soft water containing a moderate amount of minerals. This high quality spring water works as the source of drinking water for locals, the same as with the animals and plants. “You can clearly see native Japanese char in our wild streams, but they are rarely seen elsewhere in passing by,” Rarer creatures, like a forest green tree frog or a Japanese dormouse that benefit from the water, can be found in our forests.”
There are bears, which usually reside deep in the woods, but sometimes they come down to villages when reaching a shortage of beech tree nuts. Even so, they can easily be satisfied with substitutions from this fertile forest. So, they don’t attack either people or villages for food. “Certain habitat segregation between man and animals is very important,” Mr. Manabe said.
This virgin forest tract has for hundreds of years been situated in the heart of sacred Dewasanzan. Tiny beech tree sprouts require about a hundred years to grow tall, but need another few hundred years for the trunk to reach three meters in circumference. Most of them will fall due to the harsh environment, but this is the eternal life cycle of the forest that the residents are part of.