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How Can Hokkaidō’s Troubled Rail System Survive?Kishi Kunihiro

The railway system of Hokkaidō is now in a critical state. The island prefecture’s population is shrinking, while car ownership has risen, causing train ridership to decline. Half of the existing rail network may be unsustainable. How should this problem be addressed?

Revitalizing Rural Japan: the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale

The Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale is a spectacularly successful example of energizing regional revitalization with art. Depopulation has enervated vast swaths of the Japanese countryside, and Japan’s national and local governments are undertaking diverse initiatives targeted at revitalizing cities, towns, and villages in nonurban regions of the nation. Art festivals bring a distinctively cosmo…

Rice from the Mountainside

The top award for the Best Rice competition in 2010 went to a little-known name rather than a nationally established brand. We spoke with the producers of the rice—Tosa Tenkū no Sato Nikomaru, or “Nikomaru of Tosa, Home of the Heavens”—which is grown on terraced paddies in the mountains of Kōchi Prefecture.

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