Field notes

Rural towns in Japan woo city slickers with 'creative depopulation'

Fibre optic roll-out in Tokushima breathes new life into region

The allure of working and living in the peaceful environs of nature, coupled with super-fast Internet speeds, drew Web entrepreneur Kiyoharu Hirose, 46, to the mountainous town of Kamiyama in western Japan's Tokushima prefecture.

The city slicker, who grew up in Osaka, first fell for Japan's rural regions in his 20s when he quit his office job and went on a bike tour around the country.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 12, 2019, with the headline 'Rural towns woo city slickers with 'creative depopulation''. Print Edition | Subscribe