Japanese timber

Domestic timber grown in Japan generating a range of different expressions and emotions depending on the production area. We offer Japanese cypress, widely known as a high-grade timber, and a range of other domestic timber types.

(Japan's forests and environmental protection)

Forests cover 70% of Japan's national land. Through the ongoing process of planting, thinning and other maintenance processes, and logging, Japan produces sufficient high-quality timber for domestic use and export as well. But logging in no way leads to the destruction of the forest. By ensuring proper controls and management subsequent to the logging operations, it actually serves to protect and preserve our forest resources and the environment. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, and through photosynthesis, produce oxygen. The absorbed carbon dioxide is converted into carbon, and is fixed within the tree for an extended period.
This important function of trees gradually declines once they reach a certain age. So by felling trees that have exceeded this set age and planting seedlings to take their place, we are again helping to generate a high level of carbon dioxide absorption. Repeating this process fulfills a critical role in maintaining a healthy forest environment and protecting the global environment by reducing carbon dioxide.
Logged timber products were previously regarded internationally as CO2 emissions, but the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in 2011 acknowledged that trees continue to fix rather than emit carbon. In other words, wooden housing is an environmentally friendly form of housing.

(Characteristics of Japanese timber)

Due to advanced drying technology, Japanese timber can be worked to precise tolerances and is not prone to the normal drawbacks of timber, such as splitting, shrinking and warping.
Regular and continuous branch removal from the sapling stage ensures that the logged timber is attractive and free of knots.

(Major tree species and characteristics)

Japanese cedar: Japanese cedar (sugi) grows throughout Japan south of southern Hokkaido, and the majority are grown through artificial regeneration. Growth rings are prominent, and the grain is coarse. It has a broad range of uses including pillars and boards, ceiling boards, polished logs, furniture, barrels, and shipbuilding.
Japanese cypress: Perhaps Japan's best-known tree species, Japanese cypress (hinoki) grows in Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu. The cypress grown in Kiso (Kiso hinoki) is particularly famous. The timber has a beautiful sheen, and a pleasant aroma. It has been used for building temples and shrines since ancient times.

(Nice Corporation's timber business in Japan)

From our roots in the timber auction market, we at Nice Corporation fulfill a key role in domestic timber distribution with our unrivalled national network of timber auction markets in 16 locations throughout Japan. We handle roughly one million cubic tons of timber yearly, or enough timber to build about 50,000 standard Japanese wooden houses (about 11% of the wooden houses built in Japan each year).
Domestic timber is sourced from virgin wood, so the reality is that there are great difficulties in securing supplies of a stable quality, performance and price. However, with our national timber distribution network, we are able to work with leading domestic timber producers in all parts of Japan to obtain and coordinate the required supplies of domestic timber. We can also provide structural timber packages made up solely of high-quality domestic timber. This, coupled with our precut business operations and housing sales, has enabled us to reinforce our expertise across the entire range, from timber acquisition to the production and supply of housing.

Timber business offices: 22 in Japan, three overseas
Portland, USA; Vancouver, Canada; Brussels, Belgium
Precut factories: 8
Sendai, Ishioka, Kisarazu, Sachiura, Shiga, Niigata, Fukuoka, Kumamoto

(Quality of the timber handled by Nice)

We are wood specialists, and we conduct stringent checks on timber strength, dimensional stability and durability using our own standards. Only timber that has passed these standards is provided as "Nice Grade timber".
We actively handle "JAS Machine Graded Timber", a top-quality mark given to timber that meets Japanese government specifications and standards, and whose quality has been acknowledged. There are still only very few timber producers able to produce "JAS Machine Graded Timber", so this timber accounts for a mere 2.7% of the total amount of dried timber on the market. Collaborating with Japan's leading quality timber producers, we at Nice are able to coordinate all the "JAS Machine Graded Timber" needed to build a home.