Fuji's power for a residential holistic seminar house [Nichigetsu Club]

~Fuji, and experience heaven and earth in a national park at the foot of Mt Fuji~

Located on the Asagiri Plateau in Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, the Sun Moon Club is Japan's first stay-and-experience facility where you can refresh your body and mind, feel nature and counteract nature deficiency through various health programs supervised by doctors.

In addition to facilities such as a maisonette-type main house where visitors can experience the grandeur of the summit of Mt Fuji, all-weather clear dome tents, and a hinoki bath with a view of Mt Fuji, the vast grounds of approximately 20,000 tsubo include a tree terrace with a picture of the ridge line from the Yamanashi prefectural border to Suruga Bay and a Noh stage with Mt Fuji in the background. Fuji.

In this issue, we asked the owner, Tatsutaka Yamamoto, about the story behind the creation of the Sun Moon Club, the increasing number of nature-deficiency diseases among modern people, and the programs that can be experienced at the Sun Moon Club to counteract these diseases.

● Table of contents

● Practicing Western-style Integrative Medicine in Japan - How the Nichigetsu Club was established in Asagiri Park

-Can you start by telling us how you started your business?

I am an internist, but as well as diagnosing and treating diseases, I was originally interested in health promotion and preventive medicine.

Have you heard of integrative medicine? It refers to medicine that combines Western medicine with alternative therapies, and alternative medicine refers to phytotherapy using herbs and aromatherapy, and forest therapy using the climate and topography. I decided to pursue a career in medicine because I wanted to practice this integrative medicine in the field and contribute to health promotion and community healthcare.

However, what I studied at medical schools in Japan was Western medicine, which mainly focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of illness. I wondered if it would be difficult to study the kind of integrative medicine I envisioned in Japan. I was worried about this, so I did some research and found out that integrative medicine was also quite widely adopted in the field in the USA and Europe. So, for two years from 2000, I participated in a training program in integrative medicine at the University of Arizona.

After returning to Japan after completing his training in the USA, he opened an integrative medicine clinic in Yotsuya, Tokyo. Thankfully, many patients came from all over Japan. However, most of the patients already had some kind of disease, and the clinic was far removed from my initial aspirations of promoting health, spreading preventive medicine, and developing community medicine.

How do I go about doing the kind of medicine I want to do?

When I confided my frustration to my supervisor at the University of Arizona, he advised me to go to Europe and see the leading countries in integrative medicine. From there, I spent five years traveling all the way around Germany and Italy, visiting rural healthcare models, or healthcare organisations that were practicing wellness tourism.

In Japan, rural medical depopulation is a social problem, but in Italy, young doctors are oriented towards remote medical care and are fighting for the countryside. There is a mountain of business models running both community medicine and wellness tourism in wonderful forests. It was an eye-opening discovery.

-So European-style integrative medicine was your goal in medical care.

Yes, I am. However, in order to implement European-style integrative medicine in Japan, we needed land suitable for the conditions.

Unlike in Europe, where long vacations are the norm, it is not easy for people in Japan to take a vacation of several weeks. Therefore, the distance must be such that it can be reached in a weekend from Tokyo.

Then altitude is also important. According to the World Association of Climate Therapy, altitudes of 300 to 1,000 meters are good for improving health, known as mid-mountain recreation areas. The ideal environment was one where one could spend time in a mid-mountain climate, a hilly and forested area.

In addition, I was advised by my German and Italian professors that I should manage and operate my own forest with at least 10,000 tsubo of land, preferably with broadleaf forest and coniferous forest growing and a water source.

I spent five years putting together various criteria in my mind, wondering which location in Japan would be suitable, before I found the land I wanted. I spent most weekends away from Tokyo looking for land. I visited Iwaki in Fukushima, Chiba, and almost all of the Izu Peninsula and Yamanashi areas.

We finally came across the Asagiri Kogen Plateau. Fuji, and a forest of 20,000 tsubo (approximately 1,000 acres) with a rich source of water. The location and natural environment could not be better.

Let's work on community medicine and wellness tourism here like in Europe. We decided to do so and first opened a clinic 15 years ago, as Asagiri Village was a village with no doctors. Then, 8 years ago, I started the Nichigetsu Club.

Fuji Seiyoen, another related facility, is located on a 24,000 tsubo site with forests, waterfalls, and a spring-fed pond, making it quite a nature-rich place. This is a specialized retreat facility and is not open to the public. It is available only for hosting themed programs.

● Do you have enough connection with nature? ~Nature Deficiency Syndrome~

-This is the first time I have heard the term "natural deficiency syndrome", may I ask what it is?

Nature Deficiency Syndrome is a condition in which the less one interacts with nature, the higher the incidence of various diseases such as lifestyle-related diseases, chronic fatigue, and insomnia.

An American scientist named Richard Roop began using the term in his 2005 book, "Your Child Lacks Nature. It is statistically proven that children who have less contact with nature have a higher incidence of disease.

Children who experience the five senses in a natural environment are generally healthier and develop better thinking, communication, and imagination skills. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has proposed "basic skills for working adults," and we have found that the skills described in the proposal are developed by spending time in nature.

Up until just two generations ago, we humans, who evolved from apes, lived our lives according to the rising and setting of the sun. Today, however, our living environment and internal environment have drastically changed, as we work from sunset until late at night, are continuously exposed to electromagnetic radiation, and have many opportunities to eat chemical substances.

Living in the city, it is normal to walk only on asphalt or concrete or to not hear the sounds of nature. However, our bodies have accumulated hundreds or thousands of years of genetic material from the past. It is easy to imagine that modern life must be quite taxing on the body.

To improve symptoms, it is important to consciously get in touch with nature to reset the body and mind and expand the five senses. This Nichigetsu Club and Mt. Fuji Recreation Garden are places where you can not only refresh your body and mind but also counteract nature deficiency through the natural body senses.

< Natural Deficiency Syndrome Self-Checklist >

- How exactly do you determine if it is a natural deficiency syndrome?

Although a self-checklist can be used to make a judgment, a Ryodoraku test can reveal the state of the mind and body based on the balance of the autonomic nervous system. The Ryodoraku test is a simple 5-minute test that uses a machine to pass a weak electric current through the skin to check the balance of the autonomic nervous system based on the excitability of the sympathetic nerves and is painless.

This examination reveals not only the autonomic nervous system but also how the five and six viscera, the oriental medical organs, are out of balance.

Oriental medicine considers the human body to be a microcosm, a part of the natural world, and the elements of the natural world are captured by applying them to the five viscera and six internal organs. By doing this test, we can see that we have a high affinity for trees, earth, and water, so when we go for a walk or do yoga, we can see whether it is better to do it in the forest or by the water.

It is said that the test produces about half congenital and half acquired, so if you do this test at the beginning of your residency program, we can suggest a program that fits your affinity at that time.

● Seasonal and thematic programs created by staff with extensive knowledge of the forest's nature

-Can you give us an idea of some of the programs we can experience at the Nichigetsu Club?

Programs vary according to the theme, and it is possible to create a tailor-made program combining activities that can be experienced at the Nichigetsu Club.

For example, some programs combine forest therapy, yoga, phytotherapy, and aromatherapy that mainly target women, retreat-themed programs targeting those interested in regional and local development, and programs for corporate training.

We have several details of the program on our website, but as an example, we offer a 1 night 2 days Natural Deficiency Syndrome Improvement Program.(Official HP >>> https://hitsuki-club.com/program/

◆◆Physician Supervised Natural Deficiency Syndrome Improvement Program◆◆

Not all programs are organized by us. Since the demographics of the participants differ depending on the theme, we discuss with the organizers to decide where to hold the programs on the 20,000 tsubo site, what kind of activities to hold, and what kind of facilities or methods would be best for this theme.

Of course, there are the basics, such as the orientation on the first day, the meals, and so on. We will then provide advice that is more suited to the season and location, and together we will create a program. For example, if you want to do sunrise yoga, we can say, "This time of year is good for this time of year, and this place is good for this time of year.”

-You are willing to provide advice so thoroughly, aren't you?

It is essential for your satisfaction. Both Nichigetsu Club and Fuji Seiyoen are surrounded by abundant nature, but dealing with nature can be a challenge.

Because of the high altitude, we receive many requests to hold the program in the summer to avoid the summer heat and for pleasure, but summer mountains have snakes and, of course, stinging insects. Even if we receive requests to cook by ourselves over an open fire, if all the participants have only barbecued on gas stoves, there is a possibility that the fire may not be lit for any length of time. On the other hand, if you are used to nature, you can enjoy the winter mountain nature with a bonfire even in the middle of winter when it is below freezing. We propose programs on a case-by-case basis, depending on the degree to which participants are accustomed to nature.

The staff also manages the forest and maintains the facilities on weekdays, so they can understand and advise on seasonal characteristics and site conditions.

There are several water sources on the property, and you can drink water from 100-year-old springs and melted snow from Mt. Fuji, and there are many different underground water systems on Mt. Fuji, and each spring has its own unique characteristics. Also, the nature of the forest changes. It may be slippery here at this time of year, or a tree may be dead, so it is better not to go under it when the wind blows. Our staff members are always keeping an eye on the condition of the forest as they perform maintenance, and guide visitors to the forest so that they can get more in touch with nature.

● Nichigetsu Club Official Information

Name of facility:Nichigetsu Club

Address:2271 Inokashira, Fujinomiya-shi, Shizuoka 418-0108



【By Car】From Tomei Expressway Fuji IC, drive north on Route 139 bypass toward Lake Tanuki.

【By Train】Take a taxi from Fujinomiya Station on the JR Tokai Minobu Line. 30 minutes by taxi / about 5,000 yen.

Take the JR Tokaido Shinkansen and get off at Shin-Fujimiya Station.

Take a local bus and get off at the Shiraito Waterfall stop. Then take a taxi.

Subashiri Taxi Shiraito Office (next to Shiraito Waterfall bus stop) TEL: 0544-54-0119

■ The person we have spoken with

Mr. Tatsutaka Yamamoto

Physician, M.D.

Director, Asagiri Kogen Clinic

Representative of WELLNESS UNION (Fuji Seiyoen and Nichigetsu Club)

Visiting Professor, Showa University School of Medicine, Part-time Lecturer, St. Marianna University School of Medicine

Born in Kanagawa, Japan in 1966, he graduated from St. Marianna University School of Medicine and Showa University Graduate School of Medicine. After training in internal medicine and medical research, he was the first in Asia to complete an Associate Fellowship (2000-2002) in the Integrative Medicine Program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in the United States, organized by "Andrew Weil". After that, he served as the General Director of the Integrative Medicine Village Group (Yotsuya, Tokyo), the Chief of Internal Medicine at JA Naka Izu Onsen Hospital, and the Director and Industrial Physician at the Shizuoka Plant Clinic of Koito Mfg.

While living on spring water and firewood himself, he is active in both community medicine and health tourism, advocating community revitalization and nature deficiency syndrome.