A switch to a rural lifestyle in Japan’s inaka has long been considered a ridiculous notion. The thinking goes that it spells professional death because of the Tokyo=Business truism. Then there are the bears.
The millions of abandoned houses aka akiya in that supposedly dangerous countryside further compound the matter. Akiya have had a Scarlet Letter branded upon them for some time. The narrative suggests they are worthless garbage heaps just waiting to collapse and are categorically a bad investment.
We contend that the popular narrative of life outside of the city is a good deal more complex than is generally accepted. There are many factors that go into determining a “successful” lifestyle. Perhaps first and foremost is the individual or group’s own conceptualization of it. But because of this Metro narrative, even if your idea of The Good Life lies outside of it, it’s gravity is so strong that in all likelihood you’ll find yourself drifting back towards the city.
Call It A Hunch
My hunch about 6 months ago was that if this whole binary narrative were nullified and I were able to pick and choose my own way about it through careful research and consideration, a new, integrated approach would be made possible that yielded considerable dividends, be they financial, quality of life, or otherwise. So far? I’m pretty happy with the results, and after about half a year of it, with the cherry blossoms blooming, and the fiscal year rolling over yet again, I find myself reflecting a bit on what piqued my curiosity in the first place, and it really boils down to one thing: novel experience.
The idea is nice, isn’t it? Living liminally in the space between Megacity and more humble climes. Daydreaming is easy enough, though, and the fact of the matter is that actually starting the journey of extricating yourself from the metro area can be a considerable undertaking, what prevents so many from getting out of the gate. Japan is, after all, a country, and countries are large, complex creatures that aren’t easily understood at a detailed level – even if you were serious about leaving the metro area, where would you go, and how would you find it? There’s so much information and so many opportunities out there it’s understandably difficult to even get started.