Giving back by minimising our impact on the surrounding environment
Part of the magic of our Niseko real estate properties are the lovely woods that surround them. When building there we have always taken care to minimise the impact on the vegetation. Still, we have had to take down a small number of trees and the soul-searching this provoked led us to consider how to replace those that have been lost – and go well beyond.
Our intention is to partner with the proactive local Japanese community in working on an area of existing planted forest in Shiribeshi sub-prefecture. The trees there need thinning first, in order to interplant with native species to enhance the biodiversity.
This is no short-term project and will be a learning process as there are only a handful of similar projects in all of Hokkaido. Our inspiration in this will be the Ainu, the indigenous people of Hokkaido who regard the forest as a living being. They have traditionally lived in harmony with nature, taking only what they needed to survive, respecting the trees and the wider nature they provide for.
We need to learn from their example, bringing back a greater diversity of trees to provide a habitat for other species of flora and fauna that are missing from the Shiribeshi forest. But we certainly can’t do this alone. We will need support from local authorities and expert advisors, in addition to financial and physical help.
This is where our investors and guests can come in. Interested individuals – visitors or locals – are welcome to get involved, whether that involvement means a financial contribution or joining us out in the forest, donating time and labour. We will reach out to schools in the area to establish lasting partnerships that should benefit all parties, and to corporations too.
In time, there’ll be the chance to join a programme of forest walks and other activities. Where suitable, that will include walks with four-legged friends: as Niseko’s first resort to welcome dogs of all sizes, the forest will considerably expand the area we can offer for them and their owners to enjoy.
Come join us on our journey to learn more about the forests of Hokkaido. Offset some of your carbon footprint, help us connect to the island’s Ainu past, bring back a little of the biodiversity that’s been lost and in the process, you’ll deepen your relationship with this lovely place that we call home.