In late October, Mieko Kayama’s mother-in-law died at the age of 90. She had been living in a nursing care facility after she lost her husband and began suffering from dementia.

Rather than splurging on a lavish funeral, Kayama, a 55-year-old resident of Tokyo’s Sangenjaya neighborhood, decided on a low-key service with only herself and her husband in attendance.

“We don’t have children and my husband has no siblings. My parents are quite old, too, and we don’t really spend time with our relatives,” Kayama says. “So we decided against inviting people and opted instead for a very simple ceremony before sending her to the crematory.”