Attracted by the rich nature, townscapes and close community ties of the Bingo region facing the Seto Inland Sea, some families and young people have moved from urban areas, bringing their experiences and vitality to the area.

“Hello.” From the second floor of their cafe in the Tomo area of Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture, a young couple greeted a regular customer on a recent morning before the place opened at noon. Hoping to create a place where people gather, they have gradually become integrated into the community since they moved to the area about a year and eight months ago.

Ryo Nagata and his wife, Kaho, both 32, moved to the area from Tokyo’s Suginami Ward in February 2022. A year later, they rented a century-old, three-story wooden building originally used as a brothel and opened an old house-style cafe named Arisorou. With recommended books on display, the couple hopes the cafe will serve as a community space for residents to gather.