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


Theme INAKA (Rural Japan ) and Foreign Workers


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

 The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan has reported a significant increase in foreign workers, totaling 2,048,675—an increase of 225,950 from the previous year, marking a record high since mandatory reporting began in 2007. This represents a year-on-year growth rate of 12.4%, a substantial rise from the prior year’s 5.5%.

 However, rural Japan is facing challenges in attracting workers to its regions. Salaries in rural areas are relatively lower, and cultural barriers deter foreigners from choosing rural areas as their living spaces, where they have limited interaction with the community.

 Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) and Coordinators for International Relations (CIRs) are popular professions among young Japanophiles seeking employment in Japan. Many end up in rural Japan due to placement regulations, limiting personal choice.

 While some foreign workers may initially face challenges and leave rural areas with negative impressions, some find these locales becoming their second home. A prime example is our guest for this dialogue, Ervin. Despite the initial hurdles, after five years, rural Japan has transformed into his sanctuary, a place he now calls home.

 Join us in exploring the authentic essence of Japanese Inaka (rural Japan) and what makes it uniquely appealing to individuals like Ervin. Take advantage of this opportunity to gain insights into the realities of rural Japan, particularly if you’re considering careers as ALTs or CIRs.


Our guest for this session is Ervin


Hey there, I’m Ervin Garcia. Raised in Canada after leaving the Philippines, I spent my 20s teaching in rural Japan’s Shimane Prefecture. Living amidst tradition and mythology taught me the value of community, savoring life’s pace, and finding adventure nearby. Come along as I delve into the stories and insights from my time in Shimane.

Date and Time

2024/6/30 (Sun) 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.


This time, Erwin will talk in English, and the moderator, Sameera, will translate it into Japanese. We are highly concerned about cross-cultural communication, so if you are interested in improving your Japanese or English, 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 24th 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.