ある家族のパーマカルチャー的自然調和への冒険


by guibi

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Call me impulsive if you like, but I'm now a land owner (gulp!)


So, last Saturday we went to have one last look at the Kamikayama plot (Sho-o cho). It'd been keeping us up all week, me worrying about slippage, and Kazumi worrying about the 'being on display' aspect of the place. We also wanted to visit S san, the gent who's got all the useful contacts in the area and was a Miya Daiku until an accident at work took him off the sites.

We intended to just spend the day there, scoping the site, taking soil samples and generally hanging out, soaking it all up. But at the end of the day, while talking with S, he let slip the fatal words "I know a better place..." We bit and asked him if we could take a look at it. "Come round first thing tomorrow." he said. "We'll go take a look."

I was kind of doubtful as we'd 99% decided on Kamikayama, and the place that S had mentioned was a third the size. Still, no harm in checking it out we thought...

So, yet another night in the car at Kamikayama. And man did it rain! We woke up at the crack of dawn and took yet another look around. The site was a total bog. The fact that it was almost all rice fields really sank in. How on earth were we going to build on that, I thought to myself. Anyway, after brekkie at the local michi-no-eki we headed off to meet S.
Boy can he talk. We met at nine, and it wasn't till 12 that I finally said, "Well, the rain's obviously not going to let up. Let's go see the place shall we?" and with no further a do, off we went.


"Guibi valley" (reads: gooey bee) is less than 10 minutes from Kamikayama, one valley over to the N. West. It's a small, incredibly picturesque valley with both sides forested and rice fields running down the foot of the valley from top to bottom. Elevation is about 400m at the top running down gently for maybe 2 or so km where a hamlet is located. About half way down the valley on the northern slopes lies the plot. A mere acre, but 100% usable and only divided in to two terraces. Totally different from Kamikayama. Totally sold!

As you can see, there's a 'curtain' of evergreens running along the southern and eastern sides of the land. A forested mountain to the north and a strip of mixed woodland to the west. Totally sheltered from both the heat of summer sun and morning and evening winds coming up and down the valley. The forest should provide some welcome cool air in the summer months too.
The land has JA water mains on it, with three cocks strategically placed. The south western corner (about 80 tsubo or 265sqm green in the lower pic) is classified as 'Genya' meaning that we can build on it. The rest is 'Nouchi' or agricultural land.
There are just over 1200 tsubo (or 4,057sqm). An almost perfect 'acre'!

Of course, then the price came up. 330 man. We could hardly hold ourselves back from running down to the fudosan (estate agent) immediately, but thought we should at least have a chat over a coffee before making any decisions. One quick coffee later, we were sitting at the desk and I was signing on the bottom line. Man, call me impulsive if you like, but I'm now a land owner (gulp!).

Obviously an underground house wouldn't suit this site as well as the last one, so a new house design is called for. Considering that the only location we can build on is on the south-west corner of the land, the area with the view down the valley, Kazumi and I both instantly thought of a roundhouse. Perfect site for one, really. We both think that it should be on piers, not necessarily so tall, 50cm between the ground and the underside of the wall plate floor beams would do the job. Enough space to get the compost toilet 'tank' under. There's enough space for a 10.8m diameter house with a 1.75m deck around that, the roof (a reciprocal roof) would come out to the edge of the deck, and a floor plan something like this:

[PR]
by guibi | 2010-04-16 23:54 | Early days:初めは

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