Part 5 of the series: Satoyama Concept in Fukui
During our tour of the Mikata-Goko Lakes region, we stayed at Hotel Suigekka. Not only does the hotel offer a comfortable traditional onsen (hot spring) experience and beautiful views of Lake Suigetsu, but one can also book a breakfast cruise. A traditional Japanese breakfast is presented in lacquer boxes (重箱 / jūbako) with side dishes of rice and miso soup.
Lake Suigetsu is sheltered by wooded hills and its shores are relatively little developed for a Japanese lake. The town of Wakasa, to which this area belongs, is famous for its plums (the Fukui Plum / 福井梅 / Fukui-ume) and shiso (シソ), and many orchards and gardens growing these are bordering the lake. We were delightfully surprised by an osprey taking flight from a wooded area as our boat passed by. Unfortunately, it all happened too quickly for any of us to get out our cameras.
As our boat passed by a research platform, Junko Kitagawa of the Fukui Prefectural Satoyama-Satoumi Research Institute, spoke to us about her research about past environments using sediment taken from the lake bottom. There are different types of sediments in the winter (dark sediment) and in the summer (light sediment). In that way, one can examine the sediments in a similar way to tree rings. For this process to work, one needs a sheltered location and a lake that is sinking at exactly the same rate. That makes this site very unique globally. The data being collected is being used as a reference for dating events in the past such as major volcanic eruptions and shifts in climate.
Learn more about Kitagawa’s work in the extract of her paper:
“Detecting the exact timing of paddy field landscape formation using varved sediments”
Also see: "Environmental variability and human adaptation during the Lateglacial/Holocene transition in Japan with reference to pollen analysis of the SG4 core from Lake Suigetsu" in Quarternery International (2004)
To learn more about the research of Fukui Prefectural Satoyama-Satoumi Research Institute, check out their blog (JP only).
Hotel Suigekka / 水月花
若狭町観光ホテル 三方五湖 水月湖畔 水月花 〒919-1461
51-13 Umiyama, Wakasa
Mikatakaminaka District, Fukui Prefecture