「箱庭」のように、どこを取っても美しい風景がある村



「住み続けたいふるさと・曽爾村」を目指す芝田秀数村長に、村の現状と今後の展望についてお話を聞いた。

曽爾村は、曽爾谷と呼ばれる一つの「谷」で、9つの大字(たいじ)と呼ばれる集落が曽爾川、国道、県道などに沿って散在しています。年間50〜60万人の観光客が訪れる観光の村でもあります。11月上旬、曽爾高原の一面のススキが見ごろを迎える時期が観光のピークで、大阪からだとクルマで約2時間、奈良市内だと1時間半もあれば着くので、日帰りで楽しめる高原リゾートとして人気です。
昔からその土地に住んでいると、改めてその「良さ」が分からず、何もない、と思う人が多いと言われますが、何より私たち村民自身が自分たちの「ふるさと」に誇りを持って、美しい自然景観や地域資源を後世に残していこう、と思うことが大事です。私自身、曽爾村に生まれて育ちました。曽爾高原の美しさは何よりも一番だと思いますが、この村は「箱庭」のようにどこを取っても美しい風景があります。これらの自然景観は、失われたら二度と作り出すことが出来ない大事な資源です。この大切な自然を守り、生かしてゆきながら「住み続けたいふるさと・曽爾村」を目指しています。

Keywords:

Miniature landscape–the village with beautiful sceneseverywhere.

Hidekazu Shibata, the head of Soni Village

 

Soni Village is a valley called Soni Valley and ninecolonies called taiji are located along the Soni River,national and prefectural highways. It is a village withtourist attractions where 500 to 600 thousand tourists visitannually. The peak of the tourism is in the beginning ofNovember, when Japanese pampas grass is at its best,spreading across Soni Kogen Highlands. It is popular as aday-trip highlands resort because it only takes about twohours from Osaka and 1.5 hours from Nara City by car.

Three major pillars that support the village economy areforestry, agriculture and tourism. Soni Village Agricultureand Forestry Public Corporation, established in August2016, aims to train successors in agriculture andforestry as well as to brand local products. In addition toagriculture, forestry and tourism, each colony started tomake the most of its own characteristic in an attempt todiversify the village’s industry using its local resources.One of the local specialties can be the processed productof mandarin-like citrus fruit called yuzu,. Local people areworking in cooperation to develop various processed foodproducts which only Soni Village can produce.

A unique attempt is the town promotion using killifi sh.On the west edge of the village, in the district calledYamakasu along Ise Main Road, there is an area calledMedaka (killifi sh) Main Road. About ten households breedand sell more than 30 different species of killifi sh.

I myself was born and raised in Soni Village. I think thescenery of Soni Highlands is the highlight of the village butthere are beautiful scenes everywhere in this village, as ifit is a miniature landscape. I will do my best to protect thenature and make the most out of it to make Soni Village“the homeland which makes you want to live forever.”

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