About Nemuro

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About Nemuro

What is Nemuro?

Nemuro-shi is located on the easternmost end of Hokkaido and is known for being the city with the earliest sunrise in Japan.  While the city's coastal location provides it with an active fishing industry, the northwestern side of Nemuro has been developed as extensive dairy lands.  A profusion of flowers bloom during the cool summer months as if in praise of the brief growing season.  In winter, the face of Nemuro is transformed, with an endless blanket of white snow covering the land.

Although Nemuro has been developed as reclamation land, only higher lands were developed as pastures, so marshlands and surrounding areas have remained untouched.  This has made Nemuro a safe haven for wild animals, and it encompasses habitat for Blakiston's Fish Owls and landing zones for Japanese Cranes.  Nemuro is also important as one of the few resting spots for migratory birds traveling between Siberia and Australia.

What is Nemuro

Nature in Nemuro

The Idea behind Nemuro Footpaths

Nemuro's history of pioneering began with the establishment of the Hokkaido Development Commission Nemuro Office in 1869.  Soon after World War II, financing from the World Bank was used to introduce dairy farming to the region as a national project.  Work began with the importing of bulldozers from the US to develop the land, and Jersey cattle from Australia.  High milk yield Holstein cattle were later imported from the US, and another national project, called the Shin rakuno-son ("New Dairy Village") construction project, was implemented in the 1970's.  Most of the current dairy fields were established then.

dairy farmingAlthough Nemuro's dairy industry developed rapidly over the course of 60 years, for a long time it produced milk just enough to make bare minimum living for the farmers of Nemuro.  However, around the time that the 3rd generation of farmers was taking over the business, some began promoting the idea of a "prosperous farming culture for Nemuro!"  In the 1990's, several farmers bonded together and began new enterprises such as cheese making and the promotion of hands-on dairy farming experiences for people in other agricultural businesses or living in cities.  These five dairy farmers, who eventually formed the Dairy Farmer Group AB-MOBIT, started the Nemuro Footpath project, because they believed that the scenery that they love so much would also touch the hearts of the others. They called the paths Makiba-no-Sanpo-michi, which means "walkway of the pastures".

FootpathsFootpaths are pedestrian roads that originated in the United Kingdom.  Pedestrians are given legal right of way so they can freely pass through privately owned lands such as farms and woods.  Nemuro followed this example and began laying down the Nemuro Footpath in 2002.  Footpaths offer a wealth of intimate and memorable experiences in stunning places inaccessible by car: watch the humble green carpet of the pastures gently transform as you walk along into a profusion of different plants and flowers.  Our wish is to welcome as many visitors as possible to the Nemuro Footpaths, and introduce them not just to Nemuro's beautiful scenery firsthand, but also to its history, its industry, and the culture and philosophy of the people who live there.

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