Sustainable Home


On January 9th, we visited Mr. Takayuki Mori at his house in Kyoto.  Mr Mori is a extraordinary ecologist. He had a vision for sustainable living in the modern society, and he demonstrated this vision through his self-designed home. At the first glance, his house appeared to be simple, but every parts of the house were meticulously thought out and designed to serve a different purpose. For example, the entrance to the house is through the basement, which applied geothermal well principle to the design allowing the house to maintain constant temperature all year round.


A trail in Mr. Mori garden

The most noticeable part of his house was his garden. His garden had more than 200 species of plants. Even the garden was well thought out and implemented. At the front of the garden, there were a variety of vegetables that can be harvested and consume. One the trail around the garden, there were small stepping stones intentionally placed in the stone staircase that would come in handy in the future when taking big steps might be a challenge for Mr. Mori.

I admired Mr. Mori’s effort in pursuing his dream of creating a sustainable home. From visiting Mr. Mori’s house, I gained great appreciation for the environment. I hope to incorporate what I have from Mr. Mori in my future career to promote sustainable living lifestyle.


Fukushima’s Future

On the first day of our trip, we were very fortunate to meet with an official of Fukushima Prefecture and learn about the current situation and the future of the Prefectural. It has almost been 2 years since the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The disaster had caused great damage to many sectors of the Prefecture. Even after 2 years of working to recover from the disaster, Fukushima prefecture had to bear a bad reputation in its name. This might largely due to the misconception that the whole Fukushima prefecture was contaminated with radiation from the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Fukushima prefecture has an area of almost 14,000 km2, while the highly contaminated area is only 20km radius around the nuclear power plant.


A group photo of us and the officials of Fukushima Prefecture

Nevertheless, Fukushima prefecture is working hard to recover the contaminated area and rebuild their reputation. They have many projects planned to restore the area. One worth noticing project is the promoting of renewable energy for the prefecture. They aimed to be completely independent of nuclear power and rely entirely on renewable energy source by 2040. I’m looking forward to hear more updates on this project in the next few years.