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Taking Care of Our Forests

It is perhaps a little-known fact, but approximately 67% of Japan’s land is covered by trees, making Japan the world’s second most forested country, following Finland. While rainforests in Southeast Asia and South America are fast disappearing, Japan still maintains an abundance of healthy forests.

Most of the forests in Japan, however, are either planted forests or “second-growth” forests (like the one you see on the left), which are those that have received some form of human maintenance.

Unlike virgin forests (which only account for about 2% of all forests in Japan), these forests must continue to be maintained or else they tend to degradate.

Sustainable Production Process and Ensuring Quality

While it is true that humans should not touch virgin forests, planted forests and second-growth forests require a certain level of maintenance such as clearing away the undergrowth and pruning the trees. Yuica’s raw materials are the branches and leaves that are cleared in the process of forestry management.

Sei+ (plus), the company that produces Yuica, has established a contract with the local governmental forestry management group in Takayama, Gifu prefecture, to receive branches and leaves that would otherwise be put to waste as part of the forestry management process.

Taking those raw materials, we produce essential oils via a steam distillation process (see more about our process). Oak Village, Sei+’s parent company, produces wooden products for enjoying aroma, and the University of Nagoya provides us with data analysis based on the aromatic components that make up the scent of each essential oil.

Revitalizing the Local Forestry Management

We produce Yuica essential oils in Takayama within Gifu prefecture. The local forestry management group looks after all the forests in Hida region, where Takayama is located, and the area is equivalent to the size of Tokyo district.

Due to the excessive importation of logs from abroad, however, forestry management all over Japan is in sharp decline. Collecting the raw materials from our local forests is an effort to revitalize our forestry management.

By buying the raw materials from the local forestry management group, we encourage employment of forest rangers. In this way, maintenance of healthy forests not only improves our environment, but also helps the local employment situation.