The quiet loneliness of a Japanese coastal town

Most of the standard images of Japan are packed, bustling streets, with even busier trains. They are true representations too. At least in regards Tokyo and the country’s other big cities. But escape the concrete metropolises and it’s a very different scene altogether. One made all the more extreme by the ongoing movement away from rural areas, and the rapid ageing of Japan’s population.

Creating places that are quiet.

quiet Japanese coastal town

Often bleak.

quiet Japanese coastal town

And sometimes really quite lonely.

quiet Japanese coastal town


  1. Martin says

    Nice shots. It does look desolate. I can understand why people would move to the city for jobs and entertainment but with all the virtually abandoned rural land one would think there should be a market for country or weekend homes. Does that exist at all?

    • says


      It does. At least in some places. Karuizawa is a famous area for people to have second homes. A nice spot to escape the summer heat too. And nearer to Tokyo, there are a good number round the lakes near Mount Fuji. The old coastal/onsen resort of Atami has lots as well. But settlements like the one in the photos just seem to be left to slowly die…

    • says

      We passed through on a recent trip to Hokkaido. So part of a longer stay. But yes, it was very interesting. A far cry from what I’m used to seeing.

  2. Coli says

    Beautiful. Hokkaido. I’ve always wanted to go there especially after watching kita no kuni Kara.

    • says

      Somewhere I’d always wanted to go too, and I’m happy to say it didn’t disappoint. Thoroughly enjoyed it. So if you can get up there at some point, I heartily recommend it.

    • says

      Yeah, that’s very true. I guess rural areas are the only real places where it’s possible. Although that said, I have sen a Great Dane being walked in Tokyo. Heaven knows how they take care of it…

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