About Japan Heritage Cultural Properties and Food Culture

From the Forest Railway to Japan's Yuzu Road

The scenery and food culture of the Chugei Region, the land of yuzu
Through the diligent efforts of the local people, the dwindling lumber industry was transformed into the prosperous yuzu industry. The forest railway that once transported lumber was recreated as the great Yuzu Road.
Here, we introduce the stories of the 48 cultural properties that have been recognized as Japan Heritages.

  • 1. Yuzu Orchard Landscape

    The Chugei Region is known for yuzu, which has sustained the region's economy since the decline of lumber. With a total production area of 213 hectares and over 3,000 tons of volume, it is Japan's greatest producer of yuzu. Vast yuzu orchards spread across the mountains of the Chugei Region.

  • 2. Yuzu Cuisine
    (Kitagawa Village, Umaji Village, Yasuda Town)

    Yuzu, which has been used by the Japanese for over a thousand years, is essential to Japanese cuisine. In the Chugei Region, it is used in home cooking and also considered a necessity in traditional platters served for feasts.
    From yuzu vinegar to yuzu sushi and yuzu sake, there are many ways to enjoy this citrus.

  • 3. Old Yuzu Trees

    Yuzu trees planted from seed over 300 years ago still remain in the Shima District of Kitagawa Village. Yuzu has been in the lives of the local people since old times.

    Designated Natural Monument of Kitagawa Village

  • 4. Yuzu Press

    As the pioneer of yuzu cultivation, the Chugei Region was also the first to develop the yuzu press.

  • 5. Yuzu Hajimaru Festival(Yasuda Machinami Visitor Center: Nagomi)

    This festival takes place in Umaji Village usually in October or November every year to celebrate the start of the yuzu harvest season. Pray for a safe harvest season and enjoy the first juicing.

  • 6. Shintaro and Yuzu Local Festival

    This annual local festival takes place in Kitagawa Village in October. It celebrates the yuzu harvest and honors Nakaoka Shintaro, a native of Kitagawa and an early supporter of yuzu cultivation.

  • 7. Nakaoka Shintaro's Historic Home

    This was the birthplace of Nakaoka Shintaro, an early promoter of yuzu cultivation. The historic home has been restored.

    Kochi Prefecture Designated Historic Site

    Google Map

  • 8. Nakaoka Shintaro's Memorial Grave

    This was the birthplace of Nakaoka Shintaro, an early promoter of yuzu cultivation. The historic home has been restored.

    Kitagawa Village Designated Historic Site

    Google Map

  • 9. Senbonyama Mountain

    Natural Yanase cedar is known for its high quality, and while most of it has been cut down, Senbonyama Mountain still has old-growth forests with average tree ages of 200-300 years. See the primitive landscape of enormous Yanase cedar trees and enjoy a hike along the Senbonyama hiking trail.

  • 10. Tree Farms of Feudal Japan

    During the Edo Period, in an effort to have Yanase mountains of Tosa, the Tosa Clan actively managed its natural forests.
    They actively planted cedar trees to preserve the forest, and today, the enormous trees still remain in those areas.

  • 11. The Giant Cedar of Asahideyama Mountain

    This natural cedar tree estimated at 800 years old is the only heritage tree in the Chugei Region. The Asahideyama community once held a festival that celebrated rice and yuzu.

    Umaji Village Designated Natural Monument

    Google Map

  • 12. Zaimoku Nagashi (Wooden Plaque), Dake Sakamoto Shrine

    The Chugei Region had a long history of forestry and before the railway was built, lumber was transported by way of the Yasuda River and Nahari River.
    This wooden plaque dedicated to the Dake Sakamoto Shrine depicts that scenery.

    Nahari Town Designated Tangible Cultural Property (Fine Arts and Crafts)

    Google Map

  • 13. Zaimoku Nagashi (Wooden Plaque), Sanko-in Temple

    Before the railway was built, lumber was transported by way of the Yasuda River and Nahari River. This wooden plaque depicts that scenery.

    Nahari Town Designated Tangible Cultural Property (Fine Arts and Crafts)

    Google Map

  • 14. Forestry Tools Umaji-mura Kyodokan (Folk Museum)

    Saws, axes and hatchets were essential tools for cutting, gathering and transporting lumber in a time when forestory was done by human hands. The Tosa saw was known for its quality and its reputation spread throughout Japan.

  • 15. Konrin-ji Temple Yakushi-do Hall

    Konrin-ji Temple is said to have been established by Kobo Daishi (Kukai) and was built using Yanase wood which has been known for its quality since old times. Legend has it that the Yakushi-do Hall was built overnight.

    Important Cultural Property (Structures)

    Google Map

  • 16. Kitadera Temple Buddhist Statues (Wooden Seated Statue of Yakushi Nyorai)

    To build temples, Kukai transported lumber down the Yasuda River. It is said that the Buddhist statues were built from lumber that stopped flowing in the river and that very location became the site of Kitadera Temple.

    Important Cultural Property (Sculptures)

    Google Map

  • 16. Kitadera Temple Buddhist Statues(Wooden Standing Statue of Shaka Nyorai)

  • 16. Kitadera Temple Buddhist Statues (Wooden Standing Statue of Bosatsu No. 1)

  • 16. Kitadera Temple Buddhist Statues (Wooden Standing Statue of Bosatsu No. 2)

  • 16. Kitadera Temple Buddhist Statues (Wooden Standing Statue of Bosatsu No. 3)

  • 16. Kitadera Temple Buddhist Statues (Wooden Standing Statue of Bosatsu No. 4)

  • 16. Kitadera Temple Buddhist Statues (Wooden Standing Statue of Bosatsu No. 5)

  • 16. Kitadera Temple Buddhist Statues (Wooden Standing Statue of Jikokuten)

  • 16. Kitadera Temple Buddhist Statues (Wooden Standing Statue of Zochoten)

  • 17. Former Yanase Forest Railway Structure, Eya Tunnel

    This stone tunnel which curves gently along the river bend was built by digging into a bedrock overhang. The tunnels built in 1911 (Meiji period) were numbered in order from the lower stream of the river, and this tunnel has "l" carved into it, which proves its history.

    Important Cultural Property (Structures)

    Google Map

  • 18. Former Yanase Forest Railway Structure, Banda-jima Tunnel

    Built in 1911. Dry stone wall tunnel made of sandstone, located along the Yuzu Road.
    This forest railway remnant once supported the lumber industry as well as the daily lives of the local people of the Chugei Region.

    Important Cultural Property (Structures)

    Google Map

  • 19. Former Yanase Forest Railway Structure, Oomukae Tunnel

    Built in 1911. Dry stone wall tunnel made of sandstone, located along the Yuzu Road.
    This forest railway remnant once supported the lumber industry as well as the daily lives of the local people of the Chugei Region

    Important Cultural Property (Structures)

    Google Map

  • 20. Former Yanase Forest Railway Structure, Myojinguchi Bridge

    This bridge was originally built out of cypress during the Taisho period in order to cross the Yasuda River but was replaced as a steel truss bridge in the Showa period with the introduction of the locomotive. The railroad track has been removed, but the truss bridge and abutment still remain in their original forms.

    Important Cultural Property (Structures)

    Google Map

  • 21. Former Yanase Forest Railway Structure,Kamagatani Arch

    Built in 1927. A stone arch bridge that still remains on the Yuzu Road. This forest railway remnant once supported the lumber industry as well as the daily lives of the local people of the Chugei Region

    Important Cultural Property (Structures)

    Google Map

  • 22. Former Yanase Forest Railway Structure, Kamagatani Bridge

    Built in 1926. A single-track deck truss steel bridge along the Yuzu Road that passes over the Kamaga- tani stream, which branches off the Yasuda River. This forest railway remnant once supported the lumber industry as well as the daily lives of the local people of the Chugei Region.

    Important Cultural Property (Structures)

    Google Map

  • 23. Former Yanase Forest Railway Structure, Hirase Tunnel

    Built in 1911. Dry stone wall tunnel made of sandstone located along the Yuzu Road.
    This forest railway remnant once supported the lumber industry as well as the daily lives of the local people of the Chugei Region.

    Important Cultural Property (Structures)

    Google Map

  • 24. Former Yanase Forest Railway Structure, Gomi Tunnel

    This stone tunnel is located along the Yasuda River in a place considered to be the entrance to Umaji Village. It was built in 1911 (Meiji period) with the opening of the Yasuda River line. In order to build a driving road over the bridge, it was buried in dirt, however, the arched entrance and approximately 5.5 meters of the bridge still remain on the upstream side of the river.

    Important Cultural Property (Structures)

    Google Map

  • 25. Former Yanase Forest Railway Structure, Ochiai-bashi Bridge

    Built in 1925. A single-track steel girder bridge that passes over the Yasuda River along the Yuzu Road. One of the remnants of the forest railway, it supported the lumber industry as well as the daily lives of the local people of the Chugei Region.

    Important Cultural Property (Structures)

    Google Map

  • 26. Former Yanase Forest Railway Structure, Koguchi-zuido Tunnel

    Built in 1915. Dry stone wall tunnel made of sandstone located along the Yuzu Road. One of the remnants of the forest railway, it supported the lumber industry as well as the daily lives of the local people of the Chugei Region.

    Important Cultural Property (Structures)

    Google Map

  • 27. Former Yanase Forest Railway Structure, Inubo Bridge

    Built in 1924. A single-track deck truss steel bridge that passes over the Inubo-dani River which branches off the main Nahari River. It is located along the Yuzu Road. This forest railway remnant once supported the lumber industry as well as the daily lives of the local people of the Chugei Region.

    Important Cultural Property (Structures)

    Google Map

  • 28. Former Yanase Forest Railway Structure,Inotani Bridge

    Built in 1924. A single-track deck truss steel bridge that passes over the Sasagase River which branches off the main Nahari River. It is located along the Yuzu Road. This forest railway remnant once supported the lumber industry as well as the daily lives of the local people of the Chugei Region.

    Important Cultural Property (Structures)

    Google Map

  • 29. Former Yanase Forest Railway Structure Horigao Bridge

    Adjacent to Horigao tunnel, this plain concrete closed-spandrel single arch bridge crosses over the Nahari River. It was one of the largest-scale in Japan when it was constructed in 1941 (Showa period). On each side of the bridge is a waiting area and in the center is a trapezoidal balcony. It is reminiscent of the olden days of the forest railway.

    Important Cultural Property (Structures)

    Google Map

  • 30. Former Yanase Forest Railway Structure, Futamata Bridge

    Built in 1940. Located along the Yuzu Road, it is one of Japan's largest unreinforced concrete bridges. One of the remnants of the forest railway, it supported the lumber industry as well as the daily lives of the local people of the Chugei Region.

    Important Cultural Property (Structures)

    Google Map

  • 31. Former Yanase Forest Railway Structure, Koshima Bridge

    This single-track steel truss bridge was built in 1932 (Showa period) to cross over the Nahari River. With a length of 143 meters, this forest railway bridge is one of the largest in the Chugei Region. Being a combination of both a truss and girder bridge, its presence is impressive even from far away.

    Important Cultural Property (Structures)

    Google Map

  • 32. Former Yanase Forest Railway Structure, Tachioka No. 2 Bridge

    This overpass heading from the Tachioka junction to the Nahari lumberyard is a stone viaduct and concrete girder bridge built in 1933. What remains now are the abutments in the river and along the bank and three piers that support the truss, but in the olden days, it was highly reputed for being built with the most advanced technology in the prefecture.

    Important Cultural Property (Structures)

    Google Map

  • 33. Former Yanase Forest Railway Structure, Hachimanyama Kosen Bridge

    Built in 1940. Located along the Yuzu Road, it is one of Japan's largest unreinforced concrete bridges. This forest railway remnant once supported the lumber industry as well as the daily lives of the local people of the Chugei Region.

    Important Cultural Property (Structures)

    Google Map

  • 34. Former Yanase Forest Railway Structure, Hoonji Kosen Bridge

    This stone arch bridge (overpass) located west of the Nahari lumberyard on the north side of the old road leads from Sanko-in Temple to the old road. The overpass, which is also the entrance to Sanko-in Temple, was made to pass the forest railway through. It was built with the opening of the Tachioka to Nahari line in 1933 (Showa period).

    Important Cultural Property (Structures)

    Google Map

  • 35. Remnants from the Branch Lines

    Old remains such as bridge piers, wooden bridges, and train tracks that hint at the glory days of forestry. This area is used for exploration tours.
    Remnants from the branch lines can be found scattered all around the Chugei Region.

  • 36. Former Umaji Village Forestry Agency Office

    The building of the former Umaji Village Forestry Agency is still used today as the office of the Umaji Village Agricultural Cooperative, the driving force behind the growth of the yuzu industry.
    The yuzu factory located in the vicinity offers tours year-round.

  • 37. Nomura Steam Locomotive (Replica Display)

    Built in a factory in Nahari, the Nomura steam locomotive played an important role in the mass transportation of wood during the Showa period. The Nomura L69 steam locomotive has been restored and is now displayed at Yanase Maruyama Park in Umaji Village. Train rides are available on Sundays and holidays.

  • 38. Terada Library

    A rare photograph taken by Tadashi Terada of the forest railway in operation (Property of the Kochi Municipal Library)

  • 39. Taisho to early Showa period forestry photos preserved by the Shikoku Forestry Administration Bureau

    A collection of rare photos related to the forest railway during its early establishment years.
    It is recognized as a forestry heritage (Japanese Forest Society)

  • 40. Oka Goten Palace

    The Oka family, wealthy merchants of early modern Japan, who were known to be one of Tano's five most powerful merchants, built the palace in 1844 as an accommodation for the clan lord.On display are materials related to the Oka Family, who made a name for themselves in the lumber and cargo businesses and had strong ties with the Tosa Clan for procuring taxes.

    2147-1 Tano-cho, Aki-gun, Kochi-ken
    TEL.0887-38-3385

    Google Map

  • 41. Hamakawa Family Residence Brewery / Storehouse

    This sake brewery is built with water draining roof tiles.
    It produces Kochi's leading sake along with yuzu sake.

    Registered Tangible Cultural Property (Structures)

    Google Map

  • 42. Minami Shoten Store Main Building Outer and Inner Wall

    A key building of the oceanside town of Yasuda in the Chugei Region which flourished during the prosperous foresting period. It features Tosa plaster and water draining roof tiles.

    Registered Tangible Cultural Property (Structures)

    Google Map

  • 43. Former Kashiwabara Family Residence: Main Building, Annex, East Mud Wall, West Mud Wall

    This Japanese-style building uses superior local timber relfective of the properous foresting period. The mud wall is finished in Tosa plaster.
    It is open to the public and the Japanese-style room can be rented for meetings and various events.

    Registered Tangible Cultural Property (Structures)

    Google Map

  • 44. Former Ichikawa Hospital

    The ceiling boards and other areas are built with local timber, which is hard to come by these days. Today, the building is used as a display space, often displaying materials related to local history.

    Registered Tangible Cultural Property (Structures)

    Google Map

  • 45. Takezaki Family Residence (Takada-ya) Main Building / Annex / Storehouse

    The main house of the Takezaki family residence is an example of a mercantile building.
    The storehouse features a Tosa plaster wall with water draining tiles, which was characteristic of earthen storehouses of the time.
    It is one of the key historical buildings of Nahari, a town that thrived off of the forestry and shipping industries. The storehouse is used today as a local history gallery.

    Registered Tangible Cultural Property (Structures)

    Google Map

  • 46. Mori Family Residence (Former Mokuma Nomura Residence) Main Building / Storehouse / West Stone Wall / South Stone Wall / East Stone Wall

    The residence of Mokuma Nomura, known as Tosa's king of transportation.
    Tosa plaster walls and water draining tiles can be seen on the main building and storehouse. The west, south and east walls are ishiguro stone walls.
    It is one of the key buildings of Nahari, a town that thrived off of the forestry and shipping industries.

    Registered Tangible Cultural Property (Structures)

    Google Map

  • 47. Norihiro Hamada Family Residence Main Building / Rice Sile / Storehouse / Stone Wall

    At the height of the forestry industry, Nahari was the main exporter of timber to the Kansai Region and the successes of the wealthy merchants can still be seen around the town.
    The Norihiro Hamada family residence building is characteristic of that period where Tosa plaster can be seen on the storehouse.
    Registered Tangible Cultural Property (Structures)

    Registered Tangible Cultural Property (Structures)

    Google Map

  • 48. Hoshi Shrine Archery Festival

    12 purified archers from the village are chosen to shoot their arrows in this celebration to pray for abundant crops. The meal served after the Shinto ritual includes yuzu sushi and other dishes made with plenty of yuzu.

    Kochi Prefecture Protected Intangible Folk Cultural Property

    Google Map