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The Natural Townscape of Karuizawa
Japanfs Precious Asset
---------- Declaration of the Karuizawa Townscape Method-------------

The town of Karuizawa has been one of the most famous Japanese resorts since the Meiji Era. It is blessed with a beautiful landscape, rich local wildlife and culture, but seasoned with a unique international flavor. This designated Town of International Exchange, Culture and Tourism is growing every day. Thick forests, singing birds, pleasant cool breeze blowing through treesc.these refreshing images, easily associated with Karuizawa, remain unblemished thanks to the maintenance of a townscape with low level buildings as a key component. Nurtured in the heart of naturefs bounty, history and tradition have combined to allow Karuizawa to develop its unique atmosphere.

Over recent years, there has been a remarkable increase in the numbers of newly developed residential areas, along with the spread commercial facilities such as restaurants and wedding ceremony halls. This is due to the expansion of feasible commuting distances thanks to the dramatic development of high-speed transportation systems, and the consumer demand for real estate due to the continual drop in land prices. However, in the current situation of rapid economic efficiency-centered developments taking place one after another, the environment of this historic town of Kazuizawa is changing apace. There is an understandable concern about conserving the townfs special environment for the future. It is high time that we give proper respect and consideration to the unique historical, traditional, cultural and natural facets that combine to create the special landscape of Karuizawa.

In order to ensure that future generations inherit an un-spoilt environment in which they can continue to enjoy their summer retreats, Karuizawa Town issued the gDeclaration of the Karuizawa Method for Condominiumsh on December 11, 2001, in conjunction with Governor Yasuo Tanaka. Concurrently, the town revised the gOutline of Karuizawa Nature Conservation Measures (hereinafter referred to as the gOutlineh). We have decided to further revise this Outline and formulate the Landscape Guideline (hereinafter referred to as the gGuidelineh) based on the Nagano Prefectural Landscape Ordinance by the end of the fiscal year 2005, in an integrated efforts between the town and the prefecture. This will facilitate our ideas about landscape and further foster conservation of the natural townscape of Karuizawa. To put it more concretely, the townfs Outline details regulations- for example, an apartment building should have less than 20 units with the minimum distance of 2.5m in principle away from the lot party line, which may vary according to the type of the area and the number of units. By stipulating such details we hope to restrain the increase of the total floor area. Also, the Prefectural Guideline clearly regulates designs and types of buildings, and encourages planned maintenance of existing trees to conserve the beautiful resort environment.

Our grand design for the overall townscape was drawn in cooperation with a master architect known for his deep insight and high sensibility. Pioneering ideas arising from this design process have already been put into practice in the creation of various local public facilities. Going beyond the boundaries between public and private, regardless of the sector the facility belongs to, in the future we will extend this measure throughout the town to create the integrated natural townscape of Karuizawa.

The respective administrations of Karuizawa Town and Shinshu-Nagano Prefecture, deeply recognise that the beautiful, rich natural environment and townscape of Karuizawa represent a precious common asset not only for people of Nagano Prefecture, and for the entire population of Japan, but for people throughout the world. This resource must be passed to future generations. Therefore, we carry out our responsibility to properly conserve and nurture this asset.

This first ever declaration that Shinshu-Nagano Prefecture issues in collaboration with a municipality also represents the gwillh of great number of citizens of this prefecture who strongly hope to conserve our precious natural inheritance, the wildlife and landscape in a given area, by creating a solid regulatory system. Nagano Prefecture is committed to promptly bringing these hopes to fruition, conserving this wonderful place for future generations, without any personal interests.

Historically, the unique natural environment and townscape of Karuizawa has developed thanks to the efforts of ordinary citizens, the people of the gcommonsh. In order to respect these efforts, Karuizawafs precious assets should continue to be protected and fostered. This strong awareness and integrated effort must not apply to town residents alone, but is a philosophy to be shared by visitors, landowners, land and buildings users alike, as well as businesses and designers. We strongly request that even before the implementation of the revised Outline and Guideline, businesses and designers should act in accordance with this declaration.

December 22, 2005

Masayoshi Sato
Mayor of Karuizawa Town

Yasuo Tanaka
Governor of Nagano Prefecture

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