From dining out to camping, more Japanese women are doing things alone.

In the past, women without family members, partners or friends were commonly looked upon in a negative light. This view has been changing as "soloists" as they are called grow in number.

One who has been helping to change the perception of such women is freelance writer Mayumi Asai. One day last month she could be found picking strawberries at a farm in Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture.