J-VILLAGE

A Winning Formula of Revitalization

Aired: Nov. 28, 2019

While many foreign visitors are discovering the appeal of the Japanese countryside, rural communities remain under threat from population decline. A long-term resident of Japan from England has devised a way to make the countryside even more appealing while also training workers from the cities and supporting the host community. We take a closer look at what he’s accomplished in a mountain village in Nakatsugawa, Yamagata.

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Nakatsugawa, a mountain village in Yamagata Pref.
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Nakatsugawa features breathtaking, snowy winters
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The winter snow festival offers a look at traditional village life
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In Nakatsugawa, there’s even a snow festival in summer!
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Adam Fulford, a long-term resident of Japan, is working to find new ways to revitalize the village
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During their stay in Nakatsugawa, city-based employees and foreign tourists brainstorm about how to help the village

Viewers’ Voice

This segment about the mountain village of Nakatsugawa featured some breathtaking scenes, what with the snow-capped mountains in the background, and the landscapes in the summer. The bear hunter’s story was also quite interesting, if not a bit terrifying, but I guess he knew what he was doing. I think the “slide-show” presented by his wife would be a highlight of the visit to the village.

From Australia

I enjoyed this segment that showed the new ways that Adam Fulford and his team were engaging with the community to generate more tourism for rural Japan. I think this is definitely a way forward and hopefully, this will rejuvenate the particular areas as I see rural Japan as having so many of the authentic Japanese traditions.

From Ireland

This segment was informative and nice to watch. The interesting part was how a real problem faced by Japanese villages is tackled beautifully with support from Japan-based English mentor program. It also highlighted how the role of community is important and the bridge between people from two spheres of life help connect and solve social problems. Equally enriching was to see the corporate students on the ground training through a totally unconventional medium, which I suppose will lend a perspective never experienced before.

From the UAE