Greetings from Tokyo!

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Brandon88
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Greetings from Tokyo!

Post by Brandon88 » Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:44 am

Hello everyone! I have gathered information from Japan simple life a few times now, and am so excited to join the ranks as a member. Thank you for your warm welcome! Im an American, married, and living in Japan for just under 2 years now. My wife and I are currently based in Tokyo, but are desperately trying to move to the inaka. We both have some experience with organic farming, permaculture, and self sufficient life style, and our goal is to live self sustainability in a peaceful, natural environment. Last year we traveled all around Kyushu and Shikoku looking for a place. After a few months of car camping, we did find one really wonderful akiya in Miyazaki, and decided to live there. In the deep mountains, with no close neighbours, large fields available, forrest land, on the river, spring water, the works. We made a lot of effort to move there, such as meeting the nearest neighbours, meeting the mayor, BBQ with the city hall folks, giving everyone and their mothers O miage, ex. But at the last minute the owner decided he couldent bring himself to sell. We met him around Bon time so i think he became a bit emotional selling the land that has belonged to his family for hundreds of years. We have run into this problem a couple times now, sometimes its because of the family alter, or the graveyard that sits on the land, but we havn't given up. We returned to spend the winter in Tokyo, but now we are getting ready for round two of house hunting. This time around, we will search in Shizuoka and Nara prefecture a bit, but basically we are trying to settle in the southern deep mountains. We are being quite picky, but if we dont find the land where we want to stake our claim, we will rent some place in the countryside we can use as a homebase until we can find our perfect plot. Hoping to find the place that will work for us this time and looking forward to sharing our progress, and sharing where we fail and how we succeed with the Japan simple life community! Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!

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gonbechan
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Re: Greetings from Tokyo!

Post by gonbechan » Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:10 pm

Brandon, welcome. My goodness, you have had quite an adventure so far, with more to come.
It is a good thing to be picky, after all it is your forever home and future that you are hunting for.

I am really looking forward to hearing more from you as you continue on your journey.

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Zasso Nouka
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Re: Greetings from Tokyo!

Post by Zasso Nouka » Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:24 am

Welcome to Japan Simple Life Brandon and thank you so much for signing up. We really do appreciate that.

Sounds like you guys are pretty determined to make the move to the countryside and doing all the right things to make it happen. It's a real shame that one in Miyazaki didn't work out for you, it sounds like it would have been perfect. I think you are right to be picky when selecting the place you intend to settle down in, no point in getting disappointed later on even if it means taking extra time at the start.

Renting somewhere close to where you want to live is probably a good idea as it can take a while for word to spread around that you are looking for a plot to buy and quite often places that might interest you aren't on the market because folk don't think anyone would be interested in buying them. But once people get to know you all sorts of places pop up. Talking to the local council can also give you an idea how cooperative or not they are likely to be in the future when it comes to buying farmland, if that's the route you want to go down.

All the best with your plans and hope to hear how you guys get on.

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Re: Greetings from Tokyo!

Post by Brandon88 » Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:51 am

Thanks for the support and advice! Yeah basically we are always talking to the local government office and letting them know what we want to do. Sometimes we will get met with the cold shoulder and they will say straight forward, we dont have anything available, but we are getting the impression they really mean, we dont want alternative minded people in our town. Yet other times they will be like, OMG young people! Please, we will do anything to get you to move here! what is it you want? Then procede to show us every empty house in the village. And basically everything in between. So yeah I think you are right about finding a town you like, with a supportive local government, settling in, met the locals, and the opportunities start to appear. Thanks again for the welcome! Really enjoying poking around the older threads. Lots of great information on here!

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Zasso Nouka
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Re: Greetings from Tokyo!

Post by Zasso Nouka » Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:14 am

It's quite amazing the differences in attitudes between different local councils, almost like some would rather see their towns gradually disappear rather than encourage newcomers. Yet other places with a more open mind will bend over backwards to encourage new people into the town.

You never know when a property that suits your needs will turn up so hopefully one of the towns you've already been in touch with will let you know that a new location has become available or you might find somewhere interesting where you move too this year.

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Re: Greetings from Tokyo!

Post by Eric in Japan » Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:40 am

Rural property will never go up in value.
Perhaps it might be worth checking if the Miyazaki property owner would lease or rent the property to you.
advantages: you don't pay property tax, no mortgage if there is a house on the property already, shallow roots in case circumstances or local attitudes change. And since the owner isn't changed, they might be more willing.
disadvantages: not your dead albatross... I mean property.

And after years of being there, they might consider selling it to you.
"... so, the cucumbers said to the cabbage, `Lettuce Go.`"

Brandon88
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Re: Greetings from Tokyo!

Post by Brandon88 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:01 pm

Zasso, Yeah its funny, but we have definitely got the, we are sinking with our ship, kinda vibe from a few communities. But yes, one advantage to traveling so much is that we can really choose not just a house, but also a community, that we can fit in with. Theres a few towns we are trying to stay in touch with to see if something turns up.
Eric, Thanks for the tip, Yeah actually we discussed just renting the Miyazaki property, yet the owner didnt even want to do that as he knew he would eventually need to sell. One of the above mentioned types it seems. He would rather see the house rot into the ground, but remain in his family. Funny thing is he did have it registered witb the local akiya bank. But when it came time to actually rent it he had a change of heart. Oh well! Im kinda the it happened for a reason thinking kinda guy. The house didn't look like it would survive the next major earthquake. :D I totally agree with your idea. Its best to rent for the first couple years and see how it works then make an offer. The only downside is that most akiya we view need work, and the owner wants it done at the renters burden. I feel like its putting us in a bad possition, as if we do work to the house then the owner can charge more when it comes to sale. Or decide not to sell. But I guess we can include those types of concerns in the rental contract and try to negotiate for the owner to cover repair costs, ex.