Date : April 30, 2008
April 30, 2008:【”Golf Course in an Urban Area” Press Tour】
post date : 2013.08.22
Golf Course in an Urban Area
- Challenges by Kawasaki Kokusai Ikuta Ryokuchi Golf Course and a Citizens’ Group to Revive Satoyama -
Greenery around the metropolis is on the decrease through urban development. At one time, golf courses in Japan used to be synonymous with ecocide, but currently they are coming under the spotlight in terms of an open space where people come in contact with nature.
Designed by Seiichi Inoue, master architect of golf courses, the Kawasaki Kokusai Ikuta Ryokuchi Golf Course (KKRGC; picture extracted from its website) opened in 1957.Tamakyuryo’s rolling hills are used for the courses without any modification. Within the appropriately managed courses, there is the rare Japanese red pine and the ancient scenery of Musashino(*1). Several times a year, KKRGC holds open days to make it an urban oasis that welcomes even those who do not play golf.
KKRGC cooperates with “Tonmoriyato no Shizen wo Mamorukai” (Tonmori for short), a citizens’ group organized by local residents. Under their common vision of passing on the precious natural environment to the next generation, the two parties endeavor to keep animals and plants in Satoyama(*2) alive. This press tour focuses on the transition of a golf course – once with a negative image of “overexploitation” and “environmental destruction” but now a “golf course for all”.
(*1) Musashino Terrace: Much of western Tokyo, between the Tama River to the south and the Arakawa to the north, is built on the terrace)
(*2) Satoyama: a forest close to residential areas, where people used to gather wood for fuel wood and wild vegetables
【 Presentations 】
Hand in hand with “Tonmoriyato no Shizen wo Mamorukai” to conserve nature
KKRGC aims for a “golf course in harmonious with nature” and is undertaking many reforms. They are trying to bring back Satoyama, the beauty of Musashino, which everybody used to enjoy. With the hope of making the golf course “a theme park for adults”, they are trying to make an open space apart from the “real world”. In order to accomplish that, they are deliberately altering the wooded area, something that many nature conservation groups are against.
The purposed Tonmori’s activity is to “Change nature to create a natural environment where people and nature coexist”. KKRGC and Tonmori are following the same line of thought, and thus are cooperating on managing the golf course.
Seemingly, interfering with the trees is destroying nature. However, by cutting trees and letting in the sunlight and letting the wind blow through the woods, the area will revive. To the revived woods, birds and insects will flock and flowering plants will grow. This tour enables you to see how Satoyama will be passed on to the next generation.
Golf course loved by all
KKRGC holds open days 3 to 4 times a year. Every time about 1500 people visit to enjoy the seasonal nature – having picnics under cherry trees in spring, or sleighing on a snowy day.
In 2009, KKRGC plans to renovate its clubhouse. It will be utilizing the latest technology to make it the most eco-friendly and people-friendly. For example, they use lumber produced in Kanagawa Prefecture, electricity for heat and lighting, heating water for the baths by fermenting grass clippings. There will also be a restaurant which non-golfers too can enjoy.
They are also committed to the quality of the food - among their staff, there is a vegetable & fruit meister who provides organic vegetable menus, and some vegetables are home-grown within their property. Stories on how home-grown vegetables were put on the menu will be shared, and for lunch, we will eat this special food.
Green corridor to enliven the region
Currently, there is a plan to make a “Green Corridor”. This 70Km stretch of green zone which runs north and south of the metropolitan area, from the Tama Hill to the Miura Hill, will be maintained by the joint cooperation of 12 cities and one town. This plan includes preservation of biodiversity, urban agriculture, forests, and maintenance of rivers, seashore and river sources.
This plan aims to have a “Green Network” through which people within the zone communicate, economic activities become lively with the region rejuvenated. Kawasaki City will brief us on this unique plan.
【 Tour itinerary and application details 】
1. Itinerary (Tentative): Wednesday, April 30 (Rain date: Tuesday, May 20)
09:15 Meet at Mukogaoka-yuen station, Odakyu Line
09:45 Visit Kawasaki Kokusai Ikuta Ryokuchi Golf Course
- Outline of the golf course (Mr. Yoshihiko Umino,General Manager, KKRGC)
- “Green Corridor” (Kawasaki City official)
- About “Tonmoriyato no Shizen wo Mamorukai” (Mr. Shigeru Yazawa, Representative of Tonmori)
<Visit the golf course>
- about 3 holes related to Tonmori’s activities
- at the clubhouse, home-grown organic food, menus and food explained by clubhouse staff
15:30 Disperse at Mukogaoka-yuen station
(1)Bearer of Gaimusho Press ID card
(2)Good walker (the golf course is very steep)
3. Expenses: 1,500 yen per person
- Taxi to and from Mukogaoka-yuen station and golf course and lunch included
- Expenses to and from Mukogaoka-yuen station not included
*FPCJ will inform the participants of payment methods, cancellation fee etc. later on.
(1)Limited to the first 10 applicants on a first-come first-served basis.(Only one reporter and one photographer from each company, but two participants from each TV team will be acceptable.)
(2) Please wear comfortable walking shoes
5. FPCJ Contact: Mayuko Fukasawa, Tomoko Nagai (Tel: 03-3501-3405)
(1) There may be some restrictions on photographing and filming at the tour sites. Please follow the instructions of the officials on duty.
(2) FPCJ will not be liable for any inconvenience, trouble or accident that might occur in the course of the tour.