WELCOME to a town where you can pursue and experience authenticity
Located in the southeastern area of Tottori Prefecture on the border with Okayama Prefecture, Chizu Town is a municipality blessed with an abundant natural environment with more than 90% of the area consisting of mountains and forests.
A rural town surrounded by an abundant natural environment—a common sight in Japan. At first glance, this may be your first impression, but in fact, Chizu Town is a municipality that has long pursued the authenticity and essence of things. In recent years, this stance has been recognized with the Chizu Town’s designation as a National Important Cultural Landscape and the SDGs Future City.
Here we can introduce only a fraction of Chizu Town’s attractions, but if you ever have the opportunity to visit, you are sure to be able to see, encounter, and experience much, much more of Chizu’s authenticity and essence.
Please drop by for a visit!
Dodan-tsutsuji trees, which bloom from spring through early summer
Authentic seasons with four distinct seasons
- Location: 35°15’ 43” N, 134°13’ 46” E
- Area: 224.70 km2
Cherry blossoms in spring, fresh green leaves in summer, autumnal leaves in autumn, and snow in winter—in Chizu Town, you can experience the changing of nature’s seasons through a diverse range of activities.
Authentic forestry that has been passed down through generations for 300 years
Forestry is Chizu Town’s core industry. Within the town area there remains a planted grove of cedar trees known as Keichosugi, which are over 300 years old, and the town has a high reputation nationwide as a historical forestry region on par with Yoshino and Kitayama.
Renowned for its average density and heartwood dyed delicate cherry-blossom color, the timber of trees grown in Chizu is widely used not only as building materials but also interior finishing materials, as well as serving trays, pens, and other practical items and children’s toys.
Passed down over generations for 300 years and still relevant today, the essence and history of Chizu’s forestry industry can be seen at the Chizu Ringyo Shiryo Tenjishitsu (Chizu Forestry Museum) located in Yamagata District.
Keichosugi cedar trees
the Chizu Ringyo Shiryo Tenjishitsu
Authentic forest landscape registered as a National Important Cultural Landscape
Planted woods can be seen here and there throughout the town
The villages surrounded by artificial cedar trees and forests seen here and there in Chizu are the remnants of the people of Chizu who have lived in the forestry industry for a long time. The landscape that was created with this forestry industry at its heart was designated a National Important Cultural Landscape in 2018.
The Important Cultural Landscape is also called the "National Treasure of Landscape", and shows that the scenery of Chizu is a landscape rooted in the authentic forestry industry.
The Ishitani Residence: an authentic mansion that prospered through the forestry industry
Some 300 years ago, Chizushuku (present-day Chizu Town) flourished as the largest post-station town in the Tottori Domain (present-day Tottori Prefecture). Even today, the streets are lined with old-style private houses with wooden-framed lattice windows, old temples and shrines, breweries making sake wine, and various other historical structures.
Located in the center of Chizushuku, the Ishitani Residence (designated a National Important Cultural Property) is a large-scale Japanese-style structure with over 40 rooms and seven wings sprawled over a site area of 3,000 tsubo (approx. 9,917㎡). The Ishitani family prospered as landowners and forest managers, and the current residence was constructed over a 10-year period beginning in 1919 by the third head of the family, Ishitani Denshiro.
In 2001, the Ishitani Residence was opened to the general public following negotiations by the then-mayor, Teratani, with the Ishitani family. Located just inside the entrance, the 14-meter high open ceiling and the magnificent framework of gigantic beams supporting it are well worth seeing. There is also a teahouse on the grounds where you can enjoy a meal while gazing at the beautiful Japanese garden.
Please see this website for details: https://www.ifs.or.jp/english/
gardens of the Ishitani Residence (open to the public twice a year)
An authentic, unspoiled Japanese landscape spread out deep in the mountain forests
Around 4 km from the center of Chizu Town, as you travel deep into the mountains along forest roads, you will come across Itaibara Village (designated a Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings). Surrounded by mountains, this village is famous for its houses with traditional thatched roofs. During the Meiji and Showa periods (late 1800s to late 1900s), Itaibara Village prospered through charcoal making, sericulture, arrowroot cultivation, and flax cultivation. Houses dating back over 100 years and roads so narrow that cars could not pass through remain as they were originally built, giving visitors to the village the illusion that they have travelled back in time.
Chizu Town Tourist Association TEL: +81-858-76-1111
For other sightseeing information, please see this website: https://chizukankou-kurashiya.jp/
Town development pursuing a future vision and essence hand-in-hand with local residents
Japan ONE-ZERO Village Revitalization Movement
Launched in 1997, the Japan ONE-ZERO Village Revitalization Movement aims to revitalize Chizu Town, beginning at the village level. Unlike conventional projects led by government organizations, this movement is led by local residents and aims to develop all of Chizu Town by reevaluating the essence—that is, the unique characteristics—that each village possesses and by promoting growth. (We refer to this concept of resident-led developmental activity as juminjichi [resident self-governance].)
Currently, activities are transitioning from the village-unit stage to the district unit stage, and organizations known as District Promotion Councils are being set up. Using the buildings of local elementary schools that have closed because of reorganization as their bases, these councils are promoting initiatives that utilize the unique characteristics of each district to their advantage.
In addition, with 2017 marking the 20th anniversary of this movement’s launch, we published the Japan ONE-ZERO Village Revitalization Movement 20th Anniversary Commemorative Booklet. Please see the link below for information about the commemorative booklet (available in Japanese only.)
Marriage-partner-hunting in earnest (Izanagi Promotion Council)
cloud ear mushrooms cultivated and sold by the Tomizawa District Promotion Council
Chizu Town One–Hundred Resident Committee
The Chizu Town One–Hundred Resident Committee was established in 2008 based on the thinking of local neighborhood associations. Comprising volunteers from the local community, the committee discusses high-interest and familiar town issues and the future vision for the town, submitting proposals to the municipal government for initiatives aimed at resolving problems. The committee comprises various subcommittees, including Commerce/Tourism, Living Environment, Health, Forestry Industry, Specialty Agriculture, Education/Culture, and Wild Animal Damage Prevention.
A major characteristic of the committee is the fact that it does not simply propose initiatives to the municipal office but also undertakes projects for which town residents have been involved in formulating the budget or submitting the proposal. Furthermore, in recent years, local junior high school and high school students have also participated in the committee and have carried out various activities.
With 2018 marking the 10th anniversary of the committee’s establishment, we published the Chizu Town One–Hundred Resident Committee 10th Anniversary Commemorative Booklet. Please see the link below for information about the commemorative booklet (available in Japanese only.)
One–Hundred Resident Committee members and municipal staff deliberating the town budget
Illustrated Guide to Masters (produced by Junior High School student members of the One–Hundred Resident Committee)
Chizu Town has been selected as a SDGs Future City!
A SDGs Future City is a local government body designated by the national government in accordance with the sustainable development goals (SDGs) set by the UN due to the local government body’s leading initiatives aimed at resolving issues facing local government bodies, such as the aging of society and population decline.
Chizu Town was designated a SDGs Future City on July 1, 2019, because of the high recognition received by the town’s resident self-governance-based initiatives, such as the Japan ONE-ZERO Village Revitalization Movement and the One–Hundred Resident Committee.
Evacuation Insurance is a program for human exchange that utilizes disasters as an opening point. Japan experiences many natural disasters, such as earthquakes and typhoons, and living in evacuation centers following a disaster can cause people significant stress. Chizu Town provides three meals per day for seven days at an evacuation center to people who have taken out evacuation insurance. Furthermore, as special benefits, to their delight, insured persons receive a discount coupon for Shinrin Therapy® and bed and breakfast accommodations, as well as once-a-year deliveries of delicious rice, vegetables, and specialty products produced in Chizu Town.
Chizu Town Hall Planning Section
Specialty products sent once a year to people who take out evacuation insurance (example)
People who take out evacuation insurance receive a discount on Shinrin Therapy®