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As you know… Nikko is located in Tochigi prefecture.
City area: 1449.87km (third largest area)
We also have a world heritage such as Rinnoji, Toshogu, and Futaarasan shrine.
Yamame, Iwana; refers to the fishes that are able to live in only the beautiful river. In our city Nikko has those fishes in the mountain. The fresh water comes from the face of the rock and it will flow through the pipe which brings water to the pond in Himuro.
We are using this water as “Nikko Nature Ice”.
Himuro, where we store the nature ice, has a long history of making ice tradition that dates back before Nihonshoki (the oldest chronicles of Japan)
This nature ice was only served to upper classmen or shoguns until the Edo period.
This drastically changed after the Meiji period, when people started using ice for ingredients.
At the advent of refrigerator technology, consumers became more conscious of ice usage. However, this brought a decline to Himuro’s commercial ice because consumers depended on their refrigerators instead.
Amidst the changes, five places of Himuro still patronized Himuro’s ice. One of those places is ruled by Tokujiro the 4th.
While Tokujiro the 3rd decided to let go of this tradition because of the difficulty of usage, Tokujiro the 4th hoped its cultural and historical relevance will be preserved in the future. He was determined to keep the legacy of Himuro at his place.
Fortunately Himuro endured the odds and conducted a research project of making ice on year 2006. This was completed on 2008. As a result, this project succeeded and Tokujiro the 4th’s thought to the ice is still remaining now.
Rigorous project research reveals that shady spots are ideal for ice making. A designed measurement of thickness must be achieved and the stored ice must be kept clean to ensure good quality. Aside from that, one has to spread the snow on top the ice to filter the dust. After it absorbs into the snow, make sure to wipe it several times so it can be ready for the ice trail.
One factor that hinders ice production is global warming. It causes unusual rain occurrences during winter and temperature changes. Humidity inside the snow is another factor that there is a major difficulty when you scrape the ice if it is not thick enough and easily broken.
These obstacles only show that nature is a force to reckon with.