Tag - rural-life



Toshio Itoya, a community leader in Suzu, Ishikawa Prefecture, says that people will come of their own accord if there is money to be made.
JAPAN / Society
May 21, 2024
Noto Peninsula faces youth exodus amid slow earthquake recovery
The inability to earn a living in quake-hit cities is making them seek greener pastures elsewhere, a community leader says.
A couple looks out onto the Fukuoka nightscape. Due to its distance from Tokyo and its close proximity to South Korea and China, professor Tomoya Mori believes that Fukuoka is one of the few metropolitan regions of Japan that will see some form of growth in the decades to come.
JAPAN / Society / Perspectives
May 20, 2024
Why half of Japan's cities are at risk of disappearing in 100 years
Professor Tomoya Mori believes depopulation will alter the urban landscape of Japan in an unexpected way.
In 2023, Bryan Eastlake (left) began a three-year contract with the local Takahama tourism association to write, post photos and otherwise promote the small town in northern Kyoto Prefecture to a wider audience.
COMMUNITY / Issues / The Foreign Element
May 20, 2024
The new vanguard of rural revitalization efforts in Japan
Currently, the Regional Revitalization Corps has around 200 foreign residents working in different industries around the country.
Fukushima Prefectural Police are looking into any possible connections between Tuesday's robbery in rural Minamiaizu and a spate of similar cases in nearby prefectures that started late last month.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
May 15, 2024
Police probe Fukushima robbery's links to spate of rural home invasions
Several robberies targeting houses in mountainous areas have taken place in Tochigi, Nagano, and Gunma prefectures since late April.
Despite bustling cities like Tokyo and Osaka, Japan faces a rising number of abandoned properties, particularly in rural areas, which pose risks to communities and economies.
May 3, 2024
Abandoned homes will be a big part of Japan’s future
Statistics reveal a significant increase in vacant and abandoned homes, with projections indicating a further rise unless addressed soon.
A vacant house in Tokyo is seen demolished in January 2020.
May 1, 2024
Number of vacant homes in Japan hits record high of 9 million
The preliminary figure jumped by 510,000 from 2018, when the previous survey was taken, and doubled from 4.48 million in 1993.
The trial hearing of Masumi Hayashi, who denied killing four people and poisoning 63 at a festival by lacing a pot of curry with arsenic, was the focus of The Japan Times’ front page of May 14, 1999.
JAPAN / History / Japan Times Gone By
May 1, 2024
Japan Times 1999: Hayashi admits fraud, denies curry murders
The disturbing case of the Wakayama curry killer would continue for years, resulting in the eventual execution of the woman convicted of the crime.
Chika Kon asks a question at a mock assembly session organized by the town assembly of Zao, Miyagi Prefecture, in July. Kon is now a member of the assembly.
JAPAN / Politics
Apr 29, 2024
Local councils in Japan take measures to counter candidate shortfall
Efforts are being made to encourage participation to avoid undermining essential functions such as administrative oversight.
Sakiyama elementary school in Tamba, Hyogo Prefecture, in March .Over the past decade, the government has directed efforts toward policies designed to give young people incentives to base themselves in rural areas.
JAPAN / Society / FOCUS
Apr 27, 2024
In Japan, regional revitalization fails to halt population decline
Efforts to revitalize rural areas through various incentives has yielded limited results as people continue to gravitate toward urban centers.
Japan has entered an era of full-fledged population decline. If current trends remain unchanged, the nation's population is expected to decline by about half from 124 million in 2023 to 63 million by 2100.
Apr 26, 2024
Japan’s shrinking population is a big problem for the nation
An expert panel sounds the alarm on the nation's declining birthrate and population crisis.
Performers play a traditional drum unique to Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, in the prefectural capital of Kanazawa on March 16 to mark the extension of the Hokuriku Shinkansen line to Tsuruga Station in Fukui Prefecture.
JAPAN / Society
Apr 26, 2024
Japan wants you to spend more with ‘luxury tourism’
The country is looking to nudge affluent tourists to lesser-known destinations with the offer of unique experiences of culture, craftsmanship and nature.
Of 1,729 local municipalities nationwide, 744 have been identified as being at risk of disappearing.
JAPAN / Society
Apr 24, 2024
Over 40% of Japan's municipalities at risk of vanishing, study finds
The Tohoku region takes the top spot in both the number and percentage of municipalities at risk of disappearing due to a sharp population decline.
Held April 19 to 21 and organized by the nonprofit organization Kominka Japan, the Minka Summit bridges architectural tradition with contemporary possibilities.
LIFE / Style & Design
Apr 16, 2024
Minka Summit returns for third year of home design, talks and more
The Minka Summit showcases Japan's traditional homes amid modern crises and a steady build in interest.
Masafumi Kurisaka shows off a box of luxury Sakura Momo Ichigo strawberries, which can fetch a hefty price at auction.
Apr 15, 2024
Masafumi Kurisaka: 'The fewer the flowers, the bigger the strawberry'
Masafumi Kurisaka turned his back on a corporate job to go into the family business: luxury strawberries that fetch a hefty price.
In 2017, chef Shinsaku Suzuki moved to the Yatsugatake region of Yamanashi Prefecture with his wife, Emi Ishida, after locating the perfect premises: a splendid 170-year-old traditional Japanese house.
LIFE / Food & Drink / Destination Restaurants
Apr 6, 2024
Ai to Ibukuro: Terroir of Yamanashi's uplands
With a name that translates to “Love and Stomach,” this rural restaurant not far from Tokyo delivers with flying colors on both counts.
Members of the Community-Reactivating Cooperator Squad living in Tokushima Prefecture meet in the city of Yoshinogawa in the prefecture in December 2022 to learn from each other's experiences.
JAPAN / Society
Apr 5, 2024
Record 7,200 served as 'community reactivators' in FY 2023
The government aims to increase the number of community cooperators to 10,000 by fiscal 2026.
Wildlife researcher Amelia Hiorns says Japan's bears feel the pressure of human presence and have learned that encountering us is not worth their time.
Mar 30, 2024
Amelia Hiorns: 'Guiding and introducing people to Japan's nature has been rewarding'
Wildlife researcher Amelia Hiorns shares how separate interests in Japan and in bears culminated in conservation work in the mountains of Nagano.
Trucks at a logistics center in the city of Fukuoka in December. Nomura Research Institute estimates that a shortage of truck drivers will lead to 35% of goods not being transported around the country in 2030, with the ratio seen to be higher in more remote regions.
BUSINESS / Companies
Mar 29, 2024
'2024 problem' seen hitting regional logistics sectors hard
Overtime caps for truck drivers coupled with soaring fuel prices could put transport companies out of business, unless consignors agree to higher fees.
Hiroaki Wada (left), the director of Shimane Cinema Onozawa, and his wife, Sarasa, stand in an area selling snacks.
Mar 26, 2024
Couple fills a void in rural Shimane by opening a cinema
Now one of only three movie theaters in the prefecture, Shimane Cinema Onozawa hopes to offer the joy of the big screen to residents of Masuda.
High-end tourism is becoming more about the kinds of experiences that Japan's lesser-known places can provide.
LIFE / Travel / Longform
Mar 25, 2024
Can Japan lure the jet-set class off the beaten path?
High-end travelers are looking for sustainability, wellness and adventure when they head abroad. Japan hopes to deliver in places other than Tokyo.


Things may look perfect to the outside world, but today's mom is fine with some imperfection at home.
How 'Reiwa moms' are reshaping motherhood in Japan