It might come as a surprise that nature can reach half in Japan. This is an impressive fact considering that Japan occupies an archipelago half the size of Texas and is home to 127 million people. How has Japan preserved so much of its natural habitat? Densely populated urban areas cover less than 10% of the landscape, adjacent to forested mountains and hills that take up more than 70% of the terrestrial area.
Industrialization did not curtail ancient, nature-based beliefs which continue to suffuse Japanese culture and lifestyles. This value system has played a part in Japan’s preservation of nature. Geology has also helped. With over two-thirds of the island covered in steep terrain making construction projects difficult, Japanese urban planners have a strong incentive to limit the size of city sprawl to the relatively flat landscapes along the coast. The health of nature in Japan depends on a continuation of these systems.
Ecologically intact & protected landscapes comprise 50% or more of this country.
Intact landscapes lacking protected status comprise 50% or more of this country.
Between 20-40% of landscapes are still ecologically intact.
Less than 20% of the natural ecology of this area is intact.
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The snowy peaks in Japan’s largest national park shelter a large population of wildlife, including brown bears and pikas.
This southern reserve includes the town of Aya where the people practice the centuries old tradition of forest therapy.
The Fuji River is born is this protected landscape, which is also home to the Asiatic black bear, wild boar, and Sika deer.