Waseda University has developed and started selling its own original nature mineral water, Waseda Water. The source of the water comes from Ryusendo, which is one of Japan’s three largest limestone caverns located in the town of Iwaizumi in Iwate prefecture.
Waseda students have been involved with the Shii no Mori Project, a silvicultural volunteering program at Tanohata village in Iwate prefecture. There is even an official student club called Shii no Mori Club which is the main driver behind the project and is welcoming its 50th anniversary of establishment next year in 2018. The program takes place four times a year and participating students will attend a training camp at Tanohata. At the camp, aside from helping the locals with silvicultural and agricultural activities, students also learn to prepare their own food and hot baths with firewood.
History of Waseda University’s interaction and exchange with Tanohata village
Late Professor Taichi Oda (1908 – 1997) from the School of Commerce visited Tanohata Village.
Shii no Mori Club was established.
Shii no Mori Project was recognized as a volunteering project by the Hiayama Ikuo Volunteer Center (WAVOC).
Course “An Introduction to Agriculture and Forestry” on Tanohata funded by Norinchukin was introduced as a University-wide Open-Course.
Waseda University celebrated 50th anniversary of exchange with Tanohata.
Volunteers were sent to sites which experienced the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
Waseda University introduced “Regional Resource Management and Policy” as a course funded by Zeniryoren.
Water of Ryusendo
What is Ryusendo?
Ryusendo is one of Japan’s three largest limestone cavern situated in the town of Iwaizumi located in Iwate prefecture of northern Japan. It was also recognized by the Japanese government as a national natural monument in 1934. At present, the cavern is estimated to be 3,600 m in depth and the underground lake at the bottom of the cavern is formed from spring water gushing from within the cavern. The spring water is well-known worldwide for its translucency.
Blessings from forests and earth
Rains and snows that fall on Iwaizumi eventually filter their way slowly through the fallen leaves zone into the underground of Ryusendo. Before the water reach the caver, it tend to first get piled up on bedrocks and clay. As a result, water that flow into Ryusendo often contains essential minerals such as calcium, dissolved from soil and bedrocks.
One of Japan’s greatest source of water
In 1985, Ryusendo was certified by the Ministry of Environment as one of the 100 greatest springs of Japan. There is a saying that your life expectancy will be increased by three years if you drink a slip of water from Ryusendo.
Monde Selection awarded Ryusendo water (the source of Waseda Water) the International High Quality Award Trophy (a trophy awarded for products which have reached a high quality level (Grand Gold, Gold) over three consecutive years) in 2001 and the Grand Gold Award in 2017. The spring water undergoes strict quality control and is highly regarded from both within Japan and around the world, tasting good even at room temperature.
Waseda Water officially went on sale on October 15, 2017. You can even purchase it online in box of 24 from the official Waseda University Property Management Website (currently only in Japanese). Please do try it if you have the chance to.
Waseda University Property Management
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