We finished moving! I’ve lived in the Japanese Countryside for about two years now. My previous residence was a seaside house in a compact village. Now, my new husband and I are simultaneously moving to a new [old] place in the mountains with more land.
Old houses, new projects
My husband is responsible for some orchards here in Ehime, so it made the most sense for us to be close to the kiwi trees. The property here has four buildings: a 100-year old kominka, a newer concrete construction 2-level home, and two generous sheds.
We are working on plans to renovate the kominka into a guest house. It is small and *ahem* well ventilated, so it will be a very rustic and traditional experience for visitors. It may need to be fully closed during the coldest winter months.
I’ve been busy making the newer home comfortable for our lifestyle, starting with the kitchen and general cleaning.
Homesteading in Japan
We are looking forward to making good use of the land. Mr. Nakamura is interested in contributing to green tourism in the area. He has already planted 70 blueberry bushes in anticipation of opening a u-pick field. There are also fig trees, kiwi trees, a yuzu citrus tree, Japanese pepper tree, basho (Japanese banana), apple trees, grapes, and more. We’ve been steadily harvesting various vegetables already including okra, tomato, cucumber, shiso, and kale. It seems like we are on the homesteading track, planning to add chickens and geese next spring.
Japanese Countryside culture
This area is famous for fireflies, the sea of clouds view from the mountain, and various cultural festivals. The population is older. I’m still learning about expectations for me as a young-ish foreign woman in a culturally isolated area. We were the first house in our area to get any kind of internet, which should give you a clue how isolated this place really is.
Every Japanese countryside area seems to have it’s own unique rules and norms, and this place is no different. I look forward to sharing more tips and insights as things unfold.
How to find an affordable house in Japan
My husband and I rely on community and word-of-mouth for our leads on homes. I know that isn’t very accessible for many people. If you are looking for a place like ours, you can check out the newsletter from Cheap Houses Japan. ← (This link will also get you a 20% off discount just for the Bitsii community!) Michael searches and shares 20 noteworthy for-sale properties in Japan every week. It’s completely fascinating, even for someone like me who already lives in a Japanese akiya house. I’ve seen beautiful traditional homes, freshly renovated homes, and even homes with onsen (hot springs) water. It’s a great place to start a Japan home search.