Christmas is right around the corner, and J-List is helping you make it a great one with our EMS shipping sale! From now through Dec. 26, get 50% off EMS shipping when you order $50 or more from Japan. No coupon to enter, so make your order now!
Japan is a country with many challenges, including its aging population: 33% of Japanese are aged 60 or older, which caused its population to peak in 2014 as deaths outstripped births. But the falling population isn’t very evident in Tokyo, Japan’s sprawling capital city (actually a prefecture with 23 wards, essentially mini cities), which always seems jam-packed with people. With a population of 38 million, 30% of the population of Japan lives within a 45-minute commute of Tokyo, which would be like the New York metropolitan area having a population of 107 million residents instead of 20 million. Tokyo is basically Jupiter, sucking in people and culture from all other corners of Japan,
But the Japanese government wants to do something about this, so it’s considering giving Tokyo residents a whopping 3 million yen (US$27,000) if they’ll leave Japan’s capital and relocate to a smaller city in another part of the country. The plan is still being finalized, but it would likely require current Tokyo residents to legally relocate to their new region for a set number of years and show proof of paying local taxes there.
It’s kind of funny because Mrs. J-List and I have recently done the opposite, moving to Tokyo from Gunma, located 100 km to the north, on the weekends. Every Friday we take the highway bus from our city to the big bus terminal in Shinjuku then walk to our “mansion” (as a condominium is called in Japan). While we’re in Tokyo, we sample restaurants, bars and museums, and generally do all the things you can’t easily do in more rural Gunma. I prowl shops for interesting products to stock on J-List, and get my blogging work done remotely.
Of course, living in a new place semi-permanently is quite different from visiting, which forces my wife and I to be influenced by our new surroundings. We notice lots of new things about Tokyo, like how one in three employees we see on the street is involved in delivering Amazon or other packages. Or how convenient it is having 27 convenience stores within 1 km from our house, yet how quickly we tire of this much conbini food.
I’ve noticed another thing: a new difficulty making myself understood when speaking Japanese. In Tokyo, I’m often dealing with Chinese/Korean/Malaysian or other foreigners working in various shops, and while they’re fluent enough at Japanese, they’re not used to American-Japanese accents, which can cause a few seconds of extra confusion for both of us which generally doesn’t happen in Gunma.
Would you like to live in Tokyo? What about a more rural area of Japan? Tell us on Twitter!
Christmas is almost here, and J-List’s big EMS shipping sale is in its final week. Until Dec 26th, you can get 50% off your order’s shipping if you use EMS shipping for items shipping from Japan, which is super fast and fully trackable. Make a big order now!