Abiko is one of the many satellite cities of the mega metropolis that is Tokyo. Although it is much smaller and more relaxed than its gigantic neighbor, Abiko is still very much an urban setting with its own share of environmental issues.
Like many other cities throughout the world, Abiko is struggling to preserve some semblance of nature in the face of urban development. Choosing to preserve nature is never easy and often times makes little economic sense. A mall, golf course, or apartment complex will most definitely generate more revenue than an undeveloped piece of natural scenery. It is then quite remarkable that a few concern citizens of Abiko chose to stand up and protect the little nature that is left in the city. In the past few years, even a planned kindergarten was blocked from being built in the “yatsu”, the wild area of city. Not to worry though, the kindergarten was built on a different site!
The effort to preserve nature in an urban setting is admirable. During our walk in the “yatsu”, we saw many different plants and a variety of animals including frogs, insects, and birds. Although the “yatsu” does not compare with a more traditional countryside setting such as Uda city in terms of nature or even aesthetic beauty, it is still amazing considering its status as a bedroom community of Tokyo.