Aya (Japan)

Aya, Japan, in the eastern part of Japan’s southern Kyushu Island, harbors one of the country’s largest remaining lucidophyllous forests. The total area of 14,580 ha. includes Aya Town in the transition zone, which has a population of 7,283. The core area is made up of the preserved district of the Aya Forestry Ecosystem Protected Area and is included in the Kyushu Central Mountains Quasi National Park. The area  has never been used for human activities and is the object of scientific studies on the structure, function and dynamics of the lucidophyllous forest. The transition zone is mainly used for organic agriculture, and Aya Town is the first community in the country to develop a traditional recycling-oriented agricultural system, put in place in 1988. Ecotourism, including “forest therapy” (for healing purposes) and forest environmental education, is actively developed. 

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