When deadly floods damaged her family’s home in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, in 2018, Tokyo resident Alumi Senoo knew her time to leave the metropolis had come.
Joining her mother, who had been living in the home alone following her husband’s death several years prior, Senoo began helping out with tasks including post-disaster cleanup and growing vegetables in the adjacent fields. Meanwhile, she continued running her freelance graphic design business out of the front room of the house, where her paternal great-grandfather and grandmother had long worked as pharmacists for the local community.
The move also helped Senoo to reconnect with relatives, who sometimes reminisced about family history. When a cousin told her that their grandmother had once hoped to run a community gathering space, Senoo recalled her father’s longstanding dream of running his own coffee shop. It then occurred to her: Why not honor both of their memories by turning her home office into a cafe and meeting place for cyclists, another one of her passions?