NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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あしつき公園 Ashitsuki-kouen Ashitsuki Park

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Ashitsuki Park is located in Takaoka City, Toyama prefecture. It was selected as one of the 100 Homes for Life by the Natural Protection Division of the Environment Agency. This selection is aimed at the protection and recovery of small familiar animals and their living environment.

The protected living things in Ashitsuki Park are the Genji-firefly and the Heike-firefly. Since Showa 46, Nakata Elementary School and the Nakata District Protection Association have carried out protection activities, which have been highly valued.

In olden times, the firefly was loved as a feature of early summer, but as the water quality of the streams that the firefly larvae live in gets dirtier and the waterside environment changes, so the situation gets worse and it becomes more difficult to see fireflies. In this park, however, you can see the fireflies' bright lights in June, which let us know that summer is coming.
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直島ヤマツツジ Naoshima-yamatsutsuji Naoshima-Yamatsutsuji (Naoshima Mountain Azalea)

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On the small island of Naoshima in the Seto Inland Sea, near the mainland of Japan, the Yamatsutsuji (Mountain Azalea) has been pronounced as the area's representative flower.
   Every year, from the end of March through May, the mountain slopes are covered with clusters of pink mountain azaleas. Here, they are commonly known as naoshima-yamatsutsuji. It is said that the retired emperor, Munenori, who had a certain bond with this area, passionately loved this flower.  
   In the Taisho period, with the development of copper refineries, pollution spread rapidly, turning the northern half of the island into a bare, desolate mountain. Since then, much attention has been paid to encourage the regrowth of the island plantlife.
   Today, Naoshima is making great efforts to promote the island as an outstanding tourist resort and is actively participating in a campaign called Midori-Sousei, which is improving the land by aforestation.
   In 2004, following a big fire that raged across one-eighth of the island, naoshima-yamatsutsuji seeds were planted at the site of the fire as one of the main plants to help the scorched land to recover.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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