Tag - rural-life



An empty street in Fukiya, Okayama Prefecture. Japan may be both experiencing overtourism in some places and witnessing the opposite in others.
Jul 11, 2024
Japan doesn't have too many tourists, statistics suggest. It just feels that way.
The country received 0.2 tourists per capita in 2023, compared with France's 1.5, Greece's 3.4, Portugal's 2.5 and Spain's 1.8.
A sign warning about the frequent appearance of bears in Tono, Iwate Prefecture, in April 2021
Jul 8, 2024
Japan moves to permit use of rifles to hunt bears in residential areas
Under a proposed legal revision, hunters would be allowed to fire rifles if there is a risk of human injury or a bear has entered a building.
Foreign visitors learn how to make sushi in a cooking class at Sushi Making Tokyo in the Asakusa district of Tokyo.
Jun 18, 2024
Japan government paper seeks to promote rural areas to foreign visitors
Foreign tourists primarily spend their time and money in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya, according to the paper.
A government report says the excess concentration of population in Tokyo has not changed over the past decade.
Jun 11, 2024
Overconcentration in Tokyo unchanged over decade, government says
The government reported that the excess concentration of population in Tokyo has not changed over the past decade.
A self-driving vehicle travels along a public road in Eiheiji, Fukui Prefecture, on May 25.
Jun 3, 2024
Self-driving gets off to bumpy start in Fukui town
In the year since the service began in Eiheiji, financial and technical problems have emerged.
Farm minister Tetsushi Sakamoto stands as an amendment on Japan's farm policies clears parliament on Wednesday.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
May 30, 2024
Japan enacts revised 'constitution' for farm policies
The revised law newly underscores the necessity of ensuring food security at a time when supply chains are being destabilized.
A government panel in charge of promoting women's active engagement in professional life has said gender wage gaps may be behind the outflows of young women from rural areas in Japan.
JAPAN / Society
May 28, 2024
Gender wage gaps seen behind outflows of women from rural areas
Experts have said that local governments need to make wage gap rectification part of regional revitalization efforts in order to stem outflows of women.
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.


Several support networks have launched to help startup founders in Japan whose native language isn't Japanese.
As Japan's startup ecosystem grows, so does a supportive community of entrepreneurs