Date : April 30, 2008
Report: April 30,2008 【”Golf Course in an Urban Area” Press Tour】
post date : 2013.08.30
On a day with a hint of early summer, we had our first press tour for FY2008 at Kawasaki Kokusai Ikuta Ryokuchi Golf Course. Seven Tokyo-based correspondents from Korea, France, Italy, EU and Israelparticipated in the tour to visit this golf course, which opened in 1952. It is an eco-friendly golf-course - the rolling hills and trees were all used for the courses without any modification - and it was made without using heavy machinery.
At one time, golf courses in Japan used to be synonymous with ecocide. Currently greenery around the metropolis is on the decrease through urban development and golf courses are coming under the spotlight in terms of open spaces where people come in contact with nature.
“Kawasaki is a big city - 10 Km around and with a population of 3 million. Within the area, a golf course with this much greenery exists…well this is something” says Mr. Yoshihiko Umino, General Manager of the golf course. On the courses, there is the rare Japanese red pine and the ancient scenery of Musashino.
Guided by a member of the citizens’ group called “Tonmoriyato no Shizen wo Mamorukai”, the journalists were able to see their activities to bring back the satoyama (natural environment) by cutting down trees, and seeing once a landfilled water meadow now revived on the courses where fireflies live.
“Considering the energy issues, we will be aiming for a recycling-oriented society where animals, plants and human beings can coexist – a role model in Asia”, Mr. Umino says.
The tour was a great opportunity to understand the cooperation between public administration (the golf course) and the citizen’s group (Tonmori), both wishing to provide an oasis within an urban area where citizens can relax, and to pass on the precious natural environment to the next generation. It also gave us a chance to see the transition of a golf course – once with a negative image of “overexploitation” and “environmental destruction” but now a “golf course for all”.