With a view of Mount Shari in the distance and an ocean breeze wafting in from the Sea of Okhotsk, working in this coastal community in northeastern Hokkaido is certainly an escape from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo.

The town of Shari, at the foot of the wild Shiretoko Peninsula, has embarked on a unique attempt to get companies in Tokyo to experiment with telecommuting from this popular UNESCO World Heritage site.

Partly using grant funding from the internal affairs ministry, the town spent some ¥4.6 million to convert part of its legal affairs bureau and its director's residence within, into a working space and guest rooms for telecommuters.