Nagano, famous for timber but…

A slice of reality of Japan through trees

If you like DIY, you know about different types of timber, right?

Certain parts of Japan is famous for good timber such as pine, cedar and so on.

I can quickly think of Nagano, Wakayama, Hida Takayama to name a few.

Nagano is certainly one of those area famous for producing a good timber. It shouldn’t come as surprise to you when you think about the fact it’s surrounded by mountains.

It has a long history of tree plantations (Or in a sense that people grow trees to use as a timber).

So when you visit Nagano, you can’t help but notice many houses and buildings use nice-looking timber lavishly for inside and outside structures.


In these parts of Japan the forestry used to be the main industry and produced renowned quality timber and supplied them all over Japan.

A lot of temples and shrines or even castles used the top quality timber to be built with from its local region mainly.


A local shrine in Yudanaka
Zenkoji temple in Nagano 長野 善光寺

Actually it is getting down on the main theme of the post from here.

So I said before the forestry used to be the main industry of these regions.

That means it was prosperous once in the past.

What happens now?

When you visit Nagano, you see forest everywhere with mighty looking tall straight trees.

But there are 2 major underlying issues that they have been facing for many years in the background, invisible to passer-bye’ eyes.

They are,

  • With the society raging, a difficulty to find young work force as their successors
  • Cheaper import from overseas

I think these issues must be same old in lots of places all over the world.

With these facts in mind, now you see these forests in a different light.

Whenever you see them when visiting Yudanaka area, keep those in the corner of your head.

See you next time!

-Today’s Phrase-

Nagano aiwa moriga ooi ながのにはもりがおおい = There are many forests in Nagano

Listen and practice! It’ll be useful when you visit Japan!


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