Nonogawa River Valley

Ideal for agriculture with its rich dark soil, this river basin is populated by small towns and farming communities. Named for the corresponding river, this valley depends on the spring thaw and rain runoff. These are the times when the river lives up to its name 野々(wild, wild). Residents know to live and have businesses up out of the lowest part of the valley and away from the riverbanks. Though, since the dam was built upriver, flooding danger has lessened considerably. Terracing is common in the area, for farming and building.   The largest town in the valley is Nonogawa.   Agriculture, forestry, and small-scale cattle ranching are the main industries.   Local crops include rice, grapes, peaches, and rushes for tatami mats. When the river recedes from spring thaw is when rice planting begins--between April and June (before the tsuyu season.) It's harvested September through November.   Locals enjoy growing persimmons and pears for their families and to sell at farmers markets in the region. Large gardens are common.   Contrary to the trend of small towns declining. Villages in this valley are thriving. If you ask around, they'll attribute it to the various shrines that seem to mysteriously upkeep themselves. Inari Shrines are a common sight.

Fauna & Flora

Home to a number of mythical species. Though they tend to be elusive or disguise themselves. A single Kitsune is reported to live here in human form. Rumors of a Tanuki that used to live here, can also be heard around campfires and in bedtime stories.   One of the biggest nuisances and threats is the herds of Wild Boar. While the boar is regarded as a noble animal, it can be a danger to people and destroy fields. In the valley, some residents will through the arduous process of getting a gun permit to hunt the boars and keep down the herds. You may find wild boar served in restaurants and on the family dinner table. Wild boar miso soup is a local favorite.   Other creatures you may see are deer, dragonflies, frogs, salamanders, turtles, pheasants, cranes, martens, squirrels, quail, and rabbits. Fishing for trout and salmon is popular. Check with the local tackle shop or combini.   Beware of the large centipedes, joro spider, giant hornets, and the mamishi snake. In contrast, the fireflies and large luna moths are a pleasant sight on summer evenings. Hummingbird hawk-moths feeding on nectar from thistles are fun to watch.

Natural Resources

Forests, water power from the dam, wild boar and deer (if hunted)

Alternative Name(s)
野々川谷 (Nonokawadani), Wild River Valley
Type
Valley
Location under
Nonogawa River
Included Locations
Inhabiting Species


Cover image: by Amy Winters-Voss

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