Charcoal kiln ruinsHistory and culture

The traces of many charcoal kilns can be found in the forests and villages along the Shin-etsu Trail. For example, charcoal-making was a valuable source of income during the off-season at Habiroyama Village at the foot of the Nashidaira Tōge pass, and until 1990, more than 30 homes here were employed in the work. Charcoal and firewood are made from thinned trees, so they have reduced environmental impact, and are fuels being reassessed as part of the satoyama concept of a sustainable relationship between people and nature.