The Lifestyle of the Future: Living in Both Country and City
There are approximately 6,000 closed down schools in Japan at the current time, and that number is estimated to continue growing. The population of Japan, currently 127 million, is expected to fall below 100 million by the year 2053. A wide variety of locations used in the social infrastructure — not just schools — will likely become too numerous for the population and fall out of use.
However, if an abundant economy could spring forth in each of these regions, would our society not change as a result?
For example, we might turn the sports fields of closed down schools into cultivated land as a form of cutting-edge agricultural land. Hokkaido has 100 times the landmass of Singapore, and it might even be a good idea to use this landmass to produce agricultural products for Singapore, which has no agricultural land of its own. We might even install waterproof speakers and devices for producing laser beams in the pools of closed down schools to create a sort of club environment to attract young people.
We could have individuals living in cities come to this sort of location to live for two weeks or a month, for example. The local people would be delighted as well, and those who went to live there could live an abundant life without spending money. One would be hard-pressed to find an abundance of wild rainbow trout on their plate even at a Michelin-starred restaurant.
There would be no need to worry about traveling expenses, either. With the recent spread of Low Cost Carrier (LCC) airlines, we live in an age where one can go for a round trip to Okinawa or Hokkaido for just ¥5,000 depending on the time of year.
While living in the country, these individuals could rent out their homes through the American service Airbnb, which allows individuals to provide their own homes as lodging for travelers, and earn money that way.
In living a “dual life” going between the country and the city, even if one should find their income shrinking, they would have peace of mind in knowing that they have friends who they can rely on in times of need.
Through my time living in Minamifurano, I was able to once again get the sense that the permeation of the “Living Anywhere” style into our daily lives would serve to solve many of the problems in Japan today.
by Takeshi Kojima