Work-cation in the rural Japan (Kama City) the benefits of remote working outside big cities

Pablo Riveros
5 min readApr 14, 2021

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Date: 2021/03/25

On Friday 19th to Sunday 21st, I spent 3 day on Kama City, a rural Japanese 🇯🇵 town, with wonderful people, amazing food, incredible sake 🍶 and it’s just 1h/half from Fukuoka City. We joined a “workation” 3d/2nights session’s sponsor by Kama City Government. The main idea of this program was bringing people from outside the town, participate in local activities, collaborate and contribute with some innovative ideas/thinking. This small town is facing critical issues of population decline among other’s aspects. We hope that our team ideas could benefit the town, community and I wish a wonderful prosperity to Kama City people. My blog reflected that….

Kama City- Fukuoka, Japan

I participated in a workcation program in Kama City. With a population about 38,000 (as of february 2020) this rural city is located in the center of. Fukuoka Prefecture, surrounded by natural forests and the headwaters of the Onga River flow from south to north. The whole city, approximately 72% of the body is forest and cultivated land, rich in water and greenery area. It remains historic sites and legend remain in various places. This workcation program was hosted by local government and community. Tsunagaru team was part of an international and Japanese group from different nationalities and countries (Japan, Italy, Chile-Australia, South Korea)

The trend survey of Nikkei BP, a business magazine publisher, finds that the index score of ‘Workcation’ is rapidly rising, which means the keyword draws much more attentions as an option of new working styles with COVID-19. in Japan.

The highest growth rate in the category of consumption potentiality was seen ‘Workcation’ with a score of 3.32 (+0.44), followed by ‘Multi-habitation (a score of 3.31),’ which may illustrate that Japanese working styles or lifestyles have changed since the COVID-19 crisis occurred.

Workations encourage people to produce output in an efficient way so that they can enjoy their free time afterward,” said Kazuyuki Yamazaki of NTT Data Institute of Management Consulting, one of the study’s co-authors. “Some people believe workations mean working lazily during holidays, but that is not true. It enables teleworking and maintains [people’s] physical and mental health, as well as productivity,” Yamazaki said.

Yamazaki Kazuyuki

Workation Main Activities

We participated in different social events, dinner and Bbqs. We connected and established networking with participants, local authorities and Workation staff. Tsunagaru Edutech contributed with them assisting with filling surveys, feedback, explore network and dissemination these events with a global and international audience. We attended pottery workshop how to create pottery; hosted by Kama city artist. We also learnt how to make Konjac by a group of senior ladies. Konjac is a natural food that has been part of the Japanese diet for many years and has been used in cooked foods, stir-fry, and other dishes.

  • Pottery & Konjac Workshop
  • Rainforest & Sauna Experience
  • BBQs & social events

I believe we can reactivate remote communities in Japan with telework, workation program or digital nomads. Meanwhile young Japanese people are leaving these rural areas, school are closing down and only senior citizens are staying behind. Its an important “red flag” for Japan, so maybe digital nomads can became part of the solution? Bringing foreigners to those areas, inviting to join community event, know the rural/community. They can assist local places and bring happiness, global mindset, connections and a sense of fresh air to those places in which only seniors are living! Pablo R. founder of Manabu.dev

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Pablo Riveros

Techpreneur, Traveler, Founder Manabu Community and Fukuoka Startup Collective. World Nomad, passionate about explore new places, food and cultures