Imagine a realm where the seasons’ rhythms rule – where centuries of agriculture and fishing have re-shaped the land, yet where people and nature remain in harmony. Sangoro Tanaka lives in just such a paradise. At 83, he’s a guardian of one of Japan’s secret water gardens. Here – over a thousand years – towns and villages have developed a unique system to make springs and water part of their homes. From inside these homes, the streams pour into Japan’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Biwa – an area 5 times the size of Paris – near the ancient capital of Kyoto. This is a habitat so precious the Japanese have a special word for it: “Satoyama” – villages where mountains give way to plains. They are exceptional environments essential to both the people who maintain them and to the wildlife that now share them.
Narrated by Sir David Attenborough
Directed by Masumi Mizunuma
Edited by Masayuki Shimoyamada
Music by Takefumi Haketa
52 minutes, English audio,