Hot Topics

INAKA NO ARUKIKATA: The Art of Immersion in Rural Japan – An Online Dialogue(Third Dialogue)


INAKA(Rural Japan ) and Travel writing


Welcome to INAKA NO ARUKIKATA: The Art of Immersion in Rural Japan! 

 What do you think about the dissemination of information in rural areas, where there is ample natural beauty but often limited offerings for tourists? Many hidden gems remain undiscovered, and without proper promotion, they may remain hidden forever from those who truly wish to experience them.

 As someone deeply entrenched in the tourism industry for a significant period, I’ve come to realize that the real challenge doesn’t lie in the mere dissemination of information in Japan. Rather, it’s in the promotional strategies adopted by most rural tourism organizations. Often, the focus is solely on creating visually appealing brochures, pamphlets, and promotional videos without delving into who the target audience is and what they genuinely seek from the destination. Unfortunately, this approach often leads to a considerable waste of resources.

Through my experiences in the tourism sector, I’ve witnessed numerous instances where considerable time and money were spent on information dissemination methods that weren’t effectively reaching the desired audience. Information dissemination should be seen as a means to deliver relevant information to those who genuinely wish to visit, offering experiences tailored to their desires and needs.

In our upcoming INAKA NO ARUKIKATA session, we’re excited to welcome Laura, a passionate advocate for rural Japan, as our guest. With her deep connection to the beauty of the San’in region and her work with “Gaijin Pot,” a prominent web magazine for foreigners in Japan, we’re eager to explore her insights on rural information dissemination. We hope to delve into topics such as the perspectives and expectations of foreign visitors, and how information can be effectively tailored to meet their needs.


Our guest for this session is Laura


Hi, all! I’m Laura. I’m originally from Oregon, USA, and currently live in Shimane, the second least-populated prefecture in Japan.

I first moved to Shimane in 2017 as a JET Programme ALT (Assistant Language Teacher). I quickly fell in love with the area’s local history, tea culture and deep connection to Japanese mythology. 

I left JET in 2020 and moved back to the US, for a year, but I couldn’t resist returning to work in Shimane when the opportunity arose.

Since 2021, I have been teaching English at a local university. I am also a freelance writer and publish articles on GaijinPot Travel, GaijinPot Blog and Japan Today. 

Online information regarding Shimane was scarce when I first moved here, so through my current work I hope to educate people about Shimane’s unique charm and encourage travelers to expand their itineraries beyond the well-known destinations.

Date and Time

2024/05/25 (Sat) 10:00 to 11:30 JST

Feel free to join at your convenience. It’s okay to join or leave midway.

Online Event

Zoom (we will send the Zoom link to the people who enroll)

Who Can Participate

Anyone keen on rural Japan and wants to connect with like-hearted people.


Simple Japanese. We are highly concerned about cross-cultural communication, so if you are interested in the Japanese language, this will also be a chance to immerse yourself with people. If you do not understand, do not hesitate to ask us.


Fill out the form in the link and send it before the 20th of May.


Opening: Introduction of ThoughINAKA: an overview of the event.

Guest Presentation: Presentation by our guest about rural life and experiences. Discussion on their endeavors in rural areas.

Q&A: Question and answer session between participants and guests. Exchange of opinions and experiences.

Networking: Time for participants to interact and exchange information with each other.

We look forward to welcoming you to this enriching event!


 Welcome to INAKA NO ARUKIKATA: The Art of Immersion in Rural Japan! Despite the increasing number of foreigners living in Japan, only a fraction opt for rural areas, leaving the allure of rural Japan relatively untapped. Through this program, we aim to bridge the gap by engaging with individuals who have embraced the essence of Japanese ‘Inaka’ or rural life. Whether they call it home or passionately support specific regions for diverse reasons, each person has a unique story to share. It’s our privilege to listen and learn from them, and through ThoughINAKA, we endeavor to feature these remarkable individuals and offer a platform to share their stories.


 We aim to highlight and recognize the exceptional individuals who have embraced rural life in Japan. As rural areas grapple with depopulation and an absence of young residents, the significance of foreigners in revitalizing these communities cannot be overstated. Through this program, we seek to shed light on the valuable contributions made by individuals who have chosen to live in or support rural Japan. We aim to foster mutual understanding and appreciation between rural residents and foreigners by sharing their stories. Furthermore, we aspire to inspire others to engage with and endorse these individuals’ endeavors, ultimately contributing to the sustainability and vibrancy of rural Japan.