Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

Fruit Cultivation System in Kyoutou Region

Summary

Detailed Information

Partners

Annexes

Summary

Fruit cultivation began in the Kyoutou region before 762, and the region has evolved a unique cultivation system over its long fruit-growing history. In this region, most of the agricultural land is located on an alluvial fan with substantial slopes and undulations. Individual plots tend to be small and irregularly shaped, with soil and other conditions varying according to location. Farmers in this region have long grown grape, peach, persimmons and other deciduous fruit trees adapted to the alluvial fan topography and to Japan’s rainy, humid climate.

Many techniques have been developed to ensure stable fruit production on small plots. Of particular note is the local grape cultivation method, in which thick, sparsely planted vines are trained over Koshu-style trellises (trellises suspended high above the ground) to counter the wet, humid conditions.  The Koshu-style trellises keep the vines away from the ground at a height of 2.1m or so, which enhances ventilation and reduces disease. The trellises can be installed to match the slopes and shapes of vineyards.

The alluvial fan fruit cultivation system of the Kyoutou region, Yamanashi has been built up by local farmers through long years of innovation, ingenuity, and effort. Today, this heritage ensures effective use of small plots of land, sustains small family-run farms, and maintains biodiversity. It has developed through close links with local culture, and remains a resilient and innovative system capable of bringing vitality to the region. Its features and characteristics make it an agricultural system of global importance.