Japan is a narrow island country with diverse geographic features. Its land is surrounded by the ocean, with plains, mountains, and volcanoes all down the middle. However, big cities that are popular tourist attractions like Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya, do not have a lot of beautiful nature. The plains, mountains, and natural oceans that once dominated the land, have turned into office districts and shopping areas. However, despite the rapid  development of busy cities, many regions in the countryside have succeeded in preserving the beauty of Japan’s natural environment.

Japan's country-side

Japan’s country-side

Beautiful sunrise

A beautiful sunrise

The environment has been preserved and maintained by the cooperation of citizens and local governments. The rich nature provides clean air, a relaxing ambience, and magnificent skies. Therefore, tourists living in the Japanese cities often come to the countryside to enjoy the scenery, vast landscapes, and fresh food. Natural hot springs (onsen) are very popular too, and can be found near volcanic mountains, so there are many traditional Japanese inns (ryokan) in rural areas.

The famous cities are popular and fun to visit, so if you are a city person, living in the countryside may seem like living in a completely different and somewhat uninteresting place. However, the state-of-the-art transport technology can take you to big cities in just a couple of hours. Japanese bullet trains can travel up to 300 kilometers per hour, so heading to the city is easy, fast, and very much convenient. Also, with Japan’s maglev technology, long-distance trains are expected to travel twice the speed in the near future.

Young people move to cities for school or work, and the population in rural areas is decreasing. Due to the fact that the amount of people residing in the countryside is declining, the community therefore becomes closer. People help out their neighbors by checking on elders who live alone, sharing with one another the food from their farms, and trading home appliances with each other. Knowing your neighbors and interacting with the community is something that has vanished from city life. So, moving to the countryside is becoming a more popular option for those who want to start their retired life in a peaceful environment, and for families that want their children to grow up in a warm neighborhood.