Kiso: The Forest of the Japanese Cypress *RERUN
Located in the center of Honshu, Japan's main island, the Kiso region is known for its countless towering Hinoki, or Japanese cypress trees, some of them more than 300 years old. The Japanese cypress trades at high prices for building timber, with its condensed high-quality wood grain. Since time immemorial, the people of Kiso have enjoyed the blessings of the mountain, and have offered thanksgiving to the mountain gods. This is an untold story that follows the relationship between the Japanese and the mountains.

"Mitsuhimo-giri" ("The Three-rope-cut")

"Mitsuhimo-giri" is a logging method that uses an axe from 3 sides of the tree trunk, creating a cavity in the center of the tree trunk. Once this cavity is cut out, the tree looks like it is standing with 3 legs on the tree stump. The logging method gets its name as 3 legs look like 3 pieces of rope. In terms of controlling the direction of where the tree falls, the "Mitsuhimo-giri" is considered to be the safest method in forestry techniques, and is even adopted in modern day chainsaw logging.

"Kiso Horses"

Kiso Horses are the only species of native Japanese horses found in Honshu, which have been bred from more than 1,300 years. In Kaidakogen, to the west of Kiso Town, there is the "Kiso Uma no Sato (Village of Kiso Horse)," established for the preservation, breeding and provision of Kiso horses, tourism and for the grazing of privately-owned Kiso horses. The village is open to tours and horseback riding.

Mt. Ontake

At 3,067m above sea level, Mt. Ontake is a volcano that is located on the border of Gifu and Nagano Prefectures, to the west of Kiso. There are records from the Heian period (794 to 1185 AD) of people climbing Mt. Ontake, and the mountain has been regarded as a sacred mountain where the pious visit for worship and ascetics training since ancient times.