Ninety percent of the town is forested area
Forests take decades to grow. Cedar is indispensable to house building in Japan from long ago. Approximately 20 cedars are needed to build a standard wooden house. Ikeda Town flourished in the forest industry that raises cedars. Even now, about 90% of the town area is made up of forests, about half of which is composed of cedar trees. Ikeda's cedars that grow and withstand the cold and snowy winter are known for their good quality.
Grow trees in 60 years
After being grown as seedlings in 2-3 years, cedars are then planted in the mountains. Every winter, cedar trees covered with heavy snow must keep on growing. Ten to fifteen years later, the branches close to the ground are cut. This makes the trees grow straight. Sixty years later, the cedars can be found to grow well. They are shipped at around the age of 100 years old. Long time ago, the townsfolk take care of the trees between the times they need to grow rice. In the early spring, the timbers are shipped by utilizing the increased volume of river water as the mountain’s snow starts to melt.
Charcoal grilling was popular until around 1965. Before oil and natural gas became popular, charcoal was the main fuel used in cooking. Making charcoal is a very hard work. While watching the conditions of fire and smoke, the worker has to work for days in a hot charcoal cabin. It takes about a month to cut woods and turn them into charcoals.
Children learn with wooden desks and chairs
At Ikeda Elementary School, each student is given one desk and chair made of cedar at the time of entrance. Children in Ikeda Town grow in a close proximity to trees and nature.