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

Fifth Dialogue

Theme: Island Living in Japan – Nicola’s Journey in the Oki Islands


Welcome to INAKA NO ARUKIKATA: The Art of Immersion in Rural Japan!
Visiting rural Japan can be challenging, and reaching a remote island from the mainland can be even more daunting. Often, there is a need for more information, and even if some exists, finding it can be difficult. Navigating complex transportation, including port-to-port transits and multiple ferry rides, adds to the challenge. However, once you overcome these hurdles and reach the island, you will find it a unique and rewarding experience.
Our guest for this session, Nicola, has lived on an island for several years and worked to promote it to the world from a tourism perspective. Nicola has many insights to share, both as a tourist and a stakeholder in promoting the island globally.
In this session, we can ask her about her experience living on the island and seek her advice for those who wish to visit. Nicola’s practical advice, based on her years of experience, will equip you with the necessary knowledge to plan your visit. If you are interested in visiting a Japanese island or are involved in promoting one, this session will be ideal for you. Join us to gain valuable insights and practical advice from Nicola’s experiences.

Our guest for this session is Nicola

Kia ora! Konnichi wa! My name is Nicola, a proud New Zealander and big fan of Japan. I have spent much of my life studying Japanese, living and working in Japan (local government, education and tourism) and now I am teaching Japanese to teenagers in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. I loved living in my second hometown, Shimane Prefecture, for 15 years – five years in Matsue City and ten years in Nishinoshima Town, Oki Islands. I really enjoy experiencing INAKA life wherever I travel – the wonderful people you meet, the hidden places you discover and the amazing local food, festivals and traditions. I hope I can share some stories and advice with you, so that you can enjoy your travels around Japan even more.

Date and Time
2024/7/28 (Sun) 11:00 to 12:00 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, Nicola 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 July.

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.