世界に誇る「水の山」プロジェクト ABOUT "MIZUNOYAMA" PROJECT
The base for local attractions created by Kiyosato's “Superman”.
Restaurants, cafes, bars, hotels, museums, and unique souvenir shops. “Moeginomura” is a place in nature where you can eat, play and stay. It is a great facility that offers a place for young people in the region and supports the development of Kiyosato. We went to see a charismatic tourism person called Kiyosato Superman in Moeginomura; Director Mr. Joji Funaki. Moeginomura based its foundation on the will of the so-called father of Kiyosato, Dr. Paul Rush, and who put all his effort to develop Kiyosato and additionally Yamanashi prefecture.
"It started as a small, hut-like, cafe. I wanted to create an energetic place with loud music for young people who had nowhere else to go, you know," said Mr. Funaki, wearing a Superman T-shirt. He tells me the old story while stopping his renovation work on the facility. "I build the hut on top of a big rock, hence the name "Rock." It was the first cafe in Kiyosato. I was 23 years old."
Mr. Funaki was born and grew up in Kiyosato. He continues working to "make a proud locality", as a legacy of Dr. Paul Rush, an American who helped to develop the Kiyosato plateau area after WW II.
At the age of 23, he opened the cafe "Rock" and at the age of 28, he opened the hotel "Hut Walden"; a long-held dream. After that, he took on new challenges like the Orgel (Music box) Museum and the Kiyosato Field Ballet, embedding culture in Moeginomura (Moegi village).
"Climate (fudo), flavor (fumi), and scenery (fukei), all contain the character "wind" (kaze or fu). It is all about the style of the wind. What I want to accomplish it to elevate the quality of the "wind" of this area I think." Mr. Funaki, who turned 69 years old this year, looks with a kind face out over the facility where he was doing some construction work with his own hands. Working with your hands in a flower bed, or repairing a wall, what you can do you should do yourself is the credo. Everything is for this area in 100 years time.
"It is not about what is being alright now. What do you want to leave behind for 100 years later? If you think this way don't you think that preserving the water, nature, and scenery is more important than direct benefits?"
Moeginomura is proud to offer delicious alcoholic beverages made in the Hokuto city, like whiskey, wine, beer, Japanese sake, and shochu. It is said that there are some world-leading producers of alcoholic beverages in this area. As Mr. Funaki says, All because of the good water. "The vicinity of the Yatsugatake area is unique because it is where the Philippine sea plate, the North America plate, and the Eurasian plate meet. Therefore, the rock formations of Yatsugatake, Hakushi and Minami Alps are very different. Therefore, the filtered water it produces is different and of course, the water quality differs too. The many distinct water qualities are characteristic of this area, you know."
first, it is important for local people to understand and be proud of the appeal of this area continues Mr. Funaki. "What you can not get in the cities, you can find here. This is what I want to cherish."
Mr. Funaki also distributes a newsletter titled, "To the people of Hokuto city". Why is the water in Hokuto city considered valuable? And how are the alcoholic products evaluated abroad? He vigorously states that he wants to be the base of communication and continues to convey the appeal of what only exists here.
"It is such a beautiful place, but the people here are getting too used to it. Again, for the good of this region, I want the rest of the world to know and acknowledge this area. This is what I will be working on for my remaining years." First it was only the story of "Moeginomura", then it became the story about Kiyosato and finally, it is the story about the Yamanashi prefecture. For Mr. Funaki the feelings for the region have only seem to become stronger over the years.