Gankoyama: Japan’s sustainable tree house village

Japan’s Gankoyama is a small, tree house village located on a mountainside in the heart of southern Boso, Chiba.

Gankoyama was established in 1998 as the first tree house village in Japan and functions as an ecovillage for people to learn about and experience Japanese forest and sustainable lifestyles.

Run “off the grid, off the ground”, the treehouse village is run on sustainable principles using resources only from the immediate environment. The camp is powered by the solar panels and wind generator on site. Water is sourced from local mountain streams.

At Gankoyama, Meals are vegetarian from locally grown ingredients and cooked on an open fire, so no electricity is involved. A hot solar-powered shower is always available, a flushing bio-compost toilet is on site and electrical outlets powered by solar energy can also be used to recharge camera batteries and mobile phones if required.

A two-hour car journey south of Tokyo, Gankoyama is a popular place for outdoor enthusiasts to go on weekends and holidays, offering unique, eco-friendly tours that give visitors the chance to experience life in the Japanese forest.

There are courses, ranging from one day to three days, to practice yoga, or learn forest survival skills and how to make tree houses.

Gankoyama was set up by Yoshinori Hiraga. Nostalgic for his childhood spent climbing trees and playing in the forest, he set up the Tree House Village to teach Japanese and foreign visitors to reconnect with nature.


Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea



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