Our day today started off at 7am as usual. Once we finished eating our breakfast, we headed straight to Megumi Park. There, we ment Mr. Kosugi and other supporters from the Kushiro Salmon Society, Ms. Yasuda, and other local tour participants. We started our tour at Iwabokki Sluice. There, we learned about the sluice and how it has affected the Kushiro River. After, we took a bus and stopped somewhere along the Kushiro River. That is when our hardest hike would start. With no trail to follow, we walked for about two and a half hours through branches and tall plants. Not only that, but we also had insects to deal with. Luckily, I ended the hike with no insect bites whatsoever, plus no injuries. Although the hike was challenging, not due to the distance, but due to the insects and obstacles, I thought it was really nice that we got to go hiking and enjoy nature as it is. In a way, it made me feel inferior to nature and made me think how much nature can affect us. It’s hard to control nature the way we want to, with no machineries or tools to help us. To me, it felt like being the needle in a haystack.
Us at the Iwabokki Sluice
Afterwards, once we finished eating lunch, we went to take a study tour of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (MLIT)’s nature restoration sites. First, we went to the Kayanuma Area River Restoration site and took a look at how the MLIT has tried to restore the river to its natural meandering state. I thought that it was really nice that the MLIT has taken initiative to try and restore nature back to its original state before human intervention. Next, we went to the Hororo Area Wetland Restoration site to see how the MLIT has tried to restore the wetlands in Hororo. We even got a chance to go somewhat deep into the wetlands and measure how deep it was. I was surprised that it could reach about 2 meters lengthwise. With the restoration projects though, I also felt that, unlike what I felt in the morning session of our hike, mankind can manipulate nature to what we wish. Look at how we have turned a perfectly normal meandering river into a straight one for our own convenience. To me, I feel like this is the age where mankind has sort of realized their selfishness and misunderstandings of how to cooperate with nature. If we keep doing what we please, for all we know, nature will be consumed up by us and the planet will die off along with it. Therefore, it is the age where we reverse what we have done in the past to nature in order to restore it.
At the Kayanuma Area River Restoration Site (Shibecha)