The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Tsukuba Environment Forum

Towards the revitalization of the area at the foot of Mt. Tsukuba — Creation of new alliances between towns and villages from the regeneration of paddy fields

Activity grant

Project Description

Since the opening of the Tsukuba Express Railway Line, and alongside the booming of Mt. Tsukuba itself as a tourist destination, the areas around the foot of Mt. Tsukuba- the Satoyama land areas between the foothills and arable land and its rice paddies in the valley wetlands (or yatsuda) - have been neglected, and these original environments are being lost. Alongside this, Satoyama traditional local culture is disappearing as a result of an aging population and wider industrialization. In this activity, urban residents who feel this sense of crisis co-operate with the local community in rice cultivation in these paddy fields at the bottom of valleys. Through these exchanges, environmental conservation is carried out while Satoyama culture is maintained.

Preservation of biodiversity and ecosystem
Grant year
FY2006 Activity Grants
Grant term
1 year
July 2006 - June 2007
Grant amount
985,040 yen
Activity region
The area at the foot of Mt. Tsukuba (Kangori, Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture), Japan
Rice planting in wetland areas at the foothills of Mt. Tsukuba. Rice cultivation by urban inhabitants in symbiosis with nature

Overview of the Organization

Hitomi Tanaka, Representative Director
Hitomi Tanaka, Representative Director
Establishment purpose
This organization takes "the coexistence of people and nature" as a theme, aiming to survey, research and put into practice the preservation of the natural environment around Tsukuba through information gathering, sharing ideas, and promoting ties/exchanges to convey to future generations the abundance of nature in certain towns. The organization fosters understanding and encourages wide public participation to further local community actions towards environmental conservation.
Main areas of activity
The area around Mt. Tsukuba, South Ibaraki Prefecture (principally Tsukuba City)
2 full-time staff members, 5 part-time staff members, and 24 full members
Annual operating budget
14.44 million yen in 2005, 11.25 million yen in 2006, 13.97 million yen in 2007
WEB site
Recent activities
Deploying the three pillars of "practice," "cultivation" and "ties," at Mt. Tsukuba and the Satoyama land in the south of the Prefecture. In the foothills of Mt. Tsukuba, carry out activities such as: regenerating rice paddies in the yatsuda valley wetlands (cultivating pesticide-free rice in harmony with nature), maintaining the Mt. Tsukuba Fan Club (Tsukuba flora survey, observation meetings), sponsoring the Tsukuba-san Fumoto Shizen-gakkou ("Mt. Tsukuba Foothill Nature School," for interactive nature lectures, charcoal making and other lectures on Satoyama culture), planting trees at river sources (maintaining Satoyama), etc. In the vicinity of Tsukuba Science City, which is continuing to develop, activities such as creating Satoyama habitats for great purple emperor butterflies (conservation of the national butterfly and maintenance of flatland forests), operating the Satoyama Children's Wonderland (elementary school nature experiences), and running the Yukari Forest Kids Nature Club (pre-school parent-child nature experience classes) are also deployed. In addition, other activities are maintained with the aim of creating vibrant local areas where people can coexist with nature.