Encounter with Unknown Nature Invited by Cyberforest

Utilization of Cyberforest in forest environmental learning

A time-lapse camera located in Nagano PrefectureUniversity of Tokyo

How much time have you looked at forests?

While we are going about our daily lives, the same time flows in the forest as well and various events are occurring there. This means that we haven't seen most of the time flows in forests. So, let's put a camera in a forest.

Cameras and microphones by the Cyberforest Project in the UTokyo Fuji Iyashinomori WoodlandUniversity of Tokyo

The camera continues to observe every event in the forest. Whether it's a rainy day, a windy day, or of course a sunny and calm day, it will always keep on going.

What kind of forest image will these faithful "forest cameras" show us?

Children experiencing the Utokyo Fuji Iyashinomori Woodland, From the collection of: University of Tokyo
A family of deer appearing where the children had experienced the Utokyo Fuji Iyashinomori Woodland, From the collection of: University of Tokyo
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When we visit a forest, we tend to feel as if the forest is there for us. However, the forest camera tells us that it is actually a home for various animals.

Stairs to a site of Cyberforest in the UTokyo Chichibu ForestUniversity of Tokyo

The forest presented to us by the camera is indeed a real event. However, we do not see it directly, but through the forest camera.

Another real forest created by a "forest camera" is the Cyberforest. There, we will get a glimpse of the unknown nature.

The forest shows quite a different appearance depending on the year. The beech tree in Chichibu shown in this video bloomed a lot in 2000, but did not bloom at all in 2002.

Cherry blossom trees targeted for photography by Cyberforest in the UTokyo Chichibu ForestUniversity of Tokyo

Through the Cyberforest, we can see that the timing of the blooming of cherry blossoms, a familiar springtime feature for us, also varies depending on the year.

A web application that enables us to observe the annual period of flowering and to consider its relationship to temperatureUniversity of Tokyo

The Real Nature Beyond the Internet

You can access Cyberforest from anywhere at any time through your PCs, tablets, and smartphones in your hand. If you try to observe the full bloom of cherry blossoms for more than 20 years, you can see the relationship between the annual temperature.

Children checking the transition of the cherry blossom period in the UTokyo Chichibu Forest with their own eyes.University of Tokyo

Sometimes you can print it out on a large piece of paper, and other times you can use an application on your tablet. Just like the real forest, there are many ways to enjoy the Cyberforest.

Workshop using fixed-point images in Nagano PrefectureUniversity of Tokyo

It is not often that children and even adults have the opportunity to see the true nature directly. The Cyberforest invites you to a profound learning opportunity - an encounter with the unknown nature.

We hope you will visit the following websites. Let's go in search of the true beauty of nature through the Cyberforest.


Credits: Story

Photo:  Kazuhiko W. Nakamura, and The Cyberforest's archive at UT Chichibu Forest.
Video:  The Cyberforest's archive at UT Chichibu Forest.

Producer: Kaoru Saito, Akio Fujiwara, Kazuhiko Nakamura
Editor: Kazuhiko W. Nakamura

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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