Many people in Japan do not have a clear idea what to expect when hearing the name of Joetsu. The city does not have much of an image and its exact location is a mystery to many.

Actually, its location is quite unique. The region Joetsu is the Western part of Niigata prefecture. Joetsu City is on the Japan Sea Coast, yet less than 2 hours from Tokyo Station by Hokuriku shinkansen. Japan Railways has dug itself through the central Honshu mountain ranges, shortening travel time by hours, and when the shinkansen surfaces near the Japan Sea Coast you are about to arrive at Joetsumyoko Station. The station is located next to a Yayoi period Kamabuta archaeological site, about halfway in between Takada and Myoko. From the station you can reach Myoko, Arai, Takada, Naoetsu, etc. in 10 to 20 minutes by car, by bus or by using the local Echigo Tokimeki Railway.

Traditionally Tokyoites have had their weekend houses in areas around Tokyo. At the top of the list was of course Hayama which is where the Japanese emperor spends several weeks during summer each year. But also other locations, for instance in Miura Hanto, Izu Hanto, around Mt. Fuji and in Gumma or Nagano have been favourite locations for “besso”. However, besso have become expensive. Moreover, Friday afternoon traffic out of Tokyo and Sunday evening traffic back often involves lengthy traffic jams. It used to take me more time go from Tokyo to my besso in the Northern part of Ibaraki-ken than it now takes to get home to Joetsu.

Covid has forced many people to work from home. It gave the fortunate few who owned besso a chance to work in a much more relaxed environment. Working from home as a trend will continue and it has helped focusing those cooped up in crammed apartments, in a polluted city, with over-crowded public transport, on available alternatives. 

So, do alternatives exist? They do, and one that deserves serious consideration is Joetsu.

The city is a great location especially for people interested in a more healthy and relaxed living environment for their family. Skiing in winter, beautiful beaches in summer. Clean air, good food, many sporting facilities and a sense of space while at the same time having the conveniences of a city. Between them, Joetsu and Myoko have 15 sake breweries. An added argument for some!

In addition to modern housing, the empty machiya in Takada and the kominka in the foothills of the mountains surrounding the Joetsu basin could be housing hundreds, if not thousands of new citizens. Real estate is not expensive and renovation will allow you to customize a place to your own needs and preferences.

Joetsu’s population is declining by about 100 persons per month and like many other cities Joetsu has incentives available to attract new arrivals. Having arrived in Joetsu about 2 years ago I accidentally discovered that such incentives are available. The city obviously is not particularly proactive in using such incentives to generate interest in moving to Joetsu. At the same time, the city should create a stronger image for itself, focusing on the multitude of facilities for sports and outdoor activities, on health and on community spirit.

Give it a try. If you need help, contact:  https://trans-j.jp/en/about






はたして、東京以外の選択肢は存在するのでしょうか? - 存在します。そして、その中でも特に検討に値するのが上越です。




ぜひご検討ください。興味のある方は、https://trans-j.jp/en/about まで問い合わせてみてください。

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