Tag - rural-life



Ichibata Department Store, located in Matsue, capital of Shimane Prefecture, was the last remaining department store in the prefecture but ended its 65-year history on Jan. 14.
BUSINESS / Economy
Mar 21, 2024
More prefectures losing department stores even amid pandemic recovery
In 17 prefectures there is currently only one department store and there are none in three, set to rise to four in July.
Travel agents from Thailand make matcha tea in the town of Wazuka, Kyoto Prefecture, on Feb. 27, during a tourism promotion program organized by the Kansai Bureau of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Mar 20, 2024
Japan hoping wealthy Asians will visit rural areas near 2025 expo
While Japan sees the expo as a chance to attract foreign tourists, the event has yet to gain recognition.
"Tsushima: Fukushima Speaks Part 2" is directed by freelance journalist Toshikuni Doi, featuring the testimonies of people seeking the return of their hometown, which has been deemed uninhabitable for a century after the Fukushima nuclear meltdown.
JAPAN / Society
Mar 12, 2024
Film poses moral questions about 2011 Fukushima disaster displacement
The 187-minute documentary focuses on the impact the accident had on the daily lives of people who are unable to return to their hometown.
Hideo Shimoju points to a possible site that his fellow neighbors may relocate to. Such relocations have happened before, but not preemptively.
ENVIRONMENT / Climate change / Longform
Feb 24, 2024
In disaster-prone Japan, some communities consider major moves
Rural communities are considering collective relocation as a means to deal with worsening climate disasters.
The Japan Tourism Agency plans to offer subsidies to develop travel products combining culinary and traditional cultural experiences in rural areas.
Feb 18, 2024
Japan tourism agency to promote gastronomy tourism
As foreign tourists numbers spike post-pandemic, culinary travel has grown increasingly popular, especially among wealthy travelers.
Foreign tourists in the city of Tottori in November
JAPAN / Society
Feb 10, 2024
Most Japanese outside major urban areas say they do not engage with foreign nationals
Of the people who gave valid responses, 83.8% said they do not have regular exchanges with the foreign nationals who live alongside them.
Sensoji Temple, a popular tourist location, in Tokyo on Jan. 18
JAPAN / Society
Jan 26, 2024
Japan aims to direct Asian tourists to places less traveled
The tourism body is attempting to direct visitors to places outside Tokyo in order to prevent over-tourism, specifically by appealing to “light repeaters.”
A wild bear spotted in Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture, in October 2022
Jan 15, 2024
Japan to bolster measures against bears waking up from hibernation
Each prefecture will be given ¥3 million to ¥5 million in financial resources to help with the measures.
A hamburger using boar meat
Jan 7, 2024
Japanese ministry promotes game meat consumption
The amount of game meat used at restaurants in Japan rose by 1.6-fold to 2,085 tons in fiscal 2022 from six years earlier.
Shiv Kumar (left) and Nirmal Singh say they are learning a lot about living and thriving in Japan while taking part in the Technical Intern Trainee Program. Their case, however, seems to be an exception to the norm.
COMMUNITY / Issues / The Foreign Element
Dec 18, 2023
Beating the odds on Japan's controversial foreign trainee program
Nirmal Singh and Shiv Kumar beat the odds on the Technical Intern Training Program, but luck shouldn't play such a key role in a government initiative.
Mika and Jesse say their landlady prefers a hands-off style of property management, leaving all matters, including maintenence and repairs, to the renting couple.
LIFE / Lifestyle
Nov 18, 2023
Renting akiya: A backdoor into Japan's abandoned homes
“If the choice is between leaving (an akiya) empty or renting it out, please rent it out.”
If you spot a wild animal in the city, it's likely lost. Still, alert authorities immediately to prevent any unpleasantness.
ENVIRONMENT / Wildlife / Longform
Nov 13, 2023
The concrete forest: Bears, boars and more head to the cities
Warmer winters, less food and an aging society all play a part in why wild animals are increasingly venturing into human-populated areas.
Ryo and Kaho Nagata greet a regular customer from the second floor of their cafe in Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture.
JAPAN / Society / Regional Voices: Hiroshima
Nov 6, 2023
Young migrants bring vitality to rural Hiroshima
Some new residents found a place where they could try something new, as well as having cheaper rents for stores and homes compared to Tokyo.
While inaka sushi still uses dashi broth to flavor some ingredients, it's possible to make this sushi 100% vegan.
LIFE / Food & Drink
Oct 29, 2023
Sushi sans fish: How rural traditions led to vegan-friendly rolls
Leave the salmon behind with “inaka sushi,” which trades raw fish for mushrooms, ginger and other fresh veggies.
Hiruzen Kougei employee Moeko Hirao, craft brewer “Sugichan” and furry friend Tsubu help out with the tomato harvest at 6:37 a.m.
LIFE / Travel / Longform
Oct 16, 2023
The farmer's intern: A month in the Japanese countryside
Escaping the chaos of Tokyo for a month, our writer heads to rural Okayama Prefecture and discovers the delights of natural farming.
A woman takes her meal alone in Tokyo's Yanaka neighborhood. As the country ages, Japan's average caloric intake has been shrinking.
JAPAN / Society / Longform
Oct 9, 2023
Downsizing dinner: Aging Japan is eating less
As older citizens' shrinking appetites lead to less on the plate, businesses are having to adjust to a new market.
Rows of sequins affixed to Faig Ahmed’s “Door to Yourself” gives the work its sparkle.
Oct 6, 2023
Oku-Noto Triennale brings art into stark relief against rocks and sea
Taking place in the remote city of Suzu, Ishikawa Prefecture, the contemporary art event's pretty program aims to instill pride in the local community.
A performer going by the name “Tanefukube” leads shishi-odori dancers during Tono Meguritoroge’s grand finale at Rokko-shi shrine.
LIFE / Travel
Sep 30, 2023
Dancing with ghosts at Tono’s rural folk festival
The Tono region is Japan’s go-to setting of scary stories to tell in the dark.
Katsuura in Chiba Prefecture — around 90 minutes by express train from Tokyo — has never seen the mercury climb above 35 degrees Celsius, a benchmark the meteorological agency uses to describe “extremely hot” weather, since records began in the city in 1906.
Sep 24, 2023
Japan’s endless summer pushes some toward cooler places
Amid a summerlong heat wave, more people are showing interest in moving to places like Katsuura that are known for their milder temperatures.
The Meidi-ya Ginza commercial building in Tokyo is pictured on Sept. 12.
BUSINESS / Economy
Sep 19, 2023
Residential land prices in regional Japan up for first time in 31 years
Across Japan, average overall land prices climbed 1.0% for the second consecutive year of increase.


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