Takachihogo Shiibayama GIAHS : Unveiling Nature’s Hidden Gem


Brace yourself for an awe-inspiring journey to Takachihogo Shiibayama GIAHS. An encounter with the breathtaking panoramas, abundant wildlife, and rich cultural heritage of the Japanese countryside. It is a reminder of our innate connection with nature and our obligation to protect and preserve it.

What is GIAHS?

GIAHS, which stands for Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems, is a program that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations initiated.

The program’s goal is to identify, safeguard, and promote agricultural systems around the world that are unique and have significant cultural, ecological, and sustainable value.

The selection of GIAHS sites is based on their outstanding universal value and their potential to provide global public good.

This program helps communities maintain and revitalize their agricultural heritage systems while promoting sustainable agricultural practices.

Overall, GIAHS plays a crucial role in recognizing and preserving the cultural and ecological significance of unique agricultural systems worldwide.

Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)|Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Location of Takachihogo Shiibayama

Takachihogo Shiibayama GIAHS is located in the southern part of the Japanese countryside in Miyazaki Prefecture. It is comprised two main areas – Takachiho town and Shiiba village.

The topography of the region is predominantly mountainous, with intricate networks of rivers and streams shaping the terrain.

Please check out this article on the Takachiho area.

Characteristics of Takachihogo Shiibayama

Takachihogo Shiibayama, located in Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan, is one of the GIAHS sites.

This agricultural heritage system stands out for its unique terraced rice fields and traditional farming practices.

Slash and burn

One of the traditional farming methods in Japan is Yakihata farming, also known as field burning. It involves cutting and drying vegetation on mountain slopes and setting it on fire from the upper part of the slope.

The ash from the burning serves as fertilizer for crops. After a few years of using the farmland, a resting period of several decades is observed.

This cyclical farming method contributes to the sustainability of the region and maintains a harmonious relationship between forests and farmland. The Takachiho Shiibayama region has a long history of practicing field burning, and this tradition is still preserved today.

Terraced village

In the Takachiho Shiibayama GIAHS, you can find terraced rice fields called “tanada.” These rice terraces are built on steep slopes in mountainous areas, creating a unique and picturesque landscape that represents the Japanese countryside.

The village is also known for its traditional tile-roofed houses, which are located on the rock terraces, adding to the historical charm of the area.

The rice terraces in the Takachiho Shiibayama GIAHS are a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can admire the beauty of the terraced landscapes and even participate in agricultural activities by directly engaging with local farmers.

Activities in Takachihogo Shiibayama

In the Takachihogo Shiibayama area, you can engage in unique activities that allow you to experience Japanese culture firsthand.

Tofu making experience

tofu making

Experience tofu making, a tradition passed down in Shiiba Village.

Learn how to make tofu from a craftsman who has been making tofu for many years, and then make and enjoy your own tofu.

Eating Kappo-dori

The Takachiho Shiibayama area has a special name for bamboo, which is “kappo.” One of the unique culinary experiences in this area is called “kappo cooking.”

To prepare this dish, a lid is cut from the joints of the bamboo, and it is then filled with seasoned chicken, vegetables, and other ingredients. After replacing the lid, the bamboo is placed over an open flame. The ingredients are cooked slowly within the bamboo, allowing the aroma and oils from the bamboo to infuse the dish. This creates a rich and distinctive taste.

Takachiho Shiibayama area is a place where you can experience the essence of the Japanese countryside. Enjoy the beauty of nature, immerse yourself in the local culture, savor the delicious food, and engage in meaningful interactions with the local community!

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