What is it like to live in rural Japan

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/12/27/what-is-it-like-to-live-in-rur.html


Shouldn’t that be:“Shikoku, smallest of the four major islands…”


I’m surprised that the issue of traditional values didn’t come up much. Girls in the Japanese countryside often feel a great deal of pressure to marry before age ~26, and there’s still the expectation that they won’t seek to have real careers. Many men feel that it would reflect poorly on them to have a wife with a full time job; and the prospect of marrying a woman who is better educated and/or more successful than they are is just nightmare fodder.

The rural/urban trade-off also gets less cute if you leave the developed world, and going rural means losing access to modern medicine.


I lived in rural Japan for four years. AMA


I’ve got to know - was this before or after “Leonard and the Love Gods” broke up?

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Beats me!


My brother lived in a semi-rural area of Tokushima prefecture before moving to Osaka about 20 years ago. He said it was peaceful and relatively inexpensive but boring. Not much opportunity for career and/or relationships.


I thought that this was a common misunderstanding. that the population was rising in both rural and urban areas. it is just rising proportionally faster in urban areas so that the percentage of the overall population is shifting towards urban and shrinking in rural, but that does not mean the rural population is decreasing, it is continuing to rise as well.

Perhaps this is true for other countries, but not for Japan.


wow the birth rate is shrinking fast, damn.

isn’t that offset by immigration and the huge “landed” visaed foreign population? doesn’t japan have one of the highest percentages of foreign workers in country? are we certain rural areas are becoming less densely populated?

No, it is not. Japan is currently having an existential freakout because their future labor force is going to have to consist of women, foreigners, and/or robots, and they can’t decide which possibility is least horrifying.


my money is on robots. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Well, it could easily be argued that Japan likes robots more than they like working women or non-ethnically-Japanese immigrants, so, yeah. :expressionless:


just found this wiki page an informative read in case anyone else is curious.


Thanks for your willingness. I think I have a few questions. First though…

Where in Japan, and during which decade?

It’s ok if you want to keep your answers intentionally vague / somewhat generalized.

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Went to Japan a couple of times. I love the countryside more than Tokyo.

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Now that I’ve finally gotten the progeny properly hooked on sushi, ramen and anime, we’ve been sketching out a two- or three-week trip, which will leave time for a rural excursion. Info on cities and famous bits is easy to come by, but we’ve had mixed success in the US and EU on country drives. There can be some real beauty on the backroads, but lots of ho-hum too, and then you find out later you missed something awesome by a couple of klicks.

Can you suggest a several-day driving loop that would get us out into proper Japanese small towns and countryside? Photos I’ve see of the forests and mountains in the north are especially appealing.

In return, may I offer these two drives. If you can get to the Catskills on a hot summer day, an inner tube down the Esopus Creek is icy and iconic. Clear extra space on your phone for photos of Pennan, Portsoy and Findochty.


My money is on robot women.


The Hakone region, west of Tokyo, offers some spectacular mountain driving – winding switchbacks like Italy – and can take you around a number of smaller towns and cities as well as important fruit and grape growing areas. You will also find volcanic hot springs, museums, cablecars, and lakeside attractions.

The downside is that it’s pretty crowded during main tourist seasons.

Be careful of snow in winter. I got stuck in Hakone once because my hire car didn’t have snow chains, and had to be towed out at great expense.

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Good point. Best times of year? We don’t like hot and humid but can endure some. I think that’s part of why Hokkaido looked so appealing. That said, Okinawa has been recommended (over an Orion) by a friend who grew up there.