We have invited people who have immigrated from abroad and are now living in the Shiribeshi region of central Hokkaido to contribute columns from a variety of perspectives. The columns appear in Japanese in the morning edition of the Hokkaido Shimbun newspaper every other Monday. https://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/series/s_cool_otaru
In this section, the columns are posted in the author's original text.
【Column】The Appeal of Hokkaido
Hokkaido has been growing in popularity over the last few years, both domestically and internationally, and although Covid seriously impacted people’s ability to get here, it hasn’t changed why people love Hokkaido, nor why they want to return.
Many overseas visitors to Hokkaido live in built-up cities within the Asia-Pacific region, which can be incredibly hot during much of the year and polluted with poor air and water quality.
Hokkaido represents a chance to experience wide-open spaces, sensational scenery, fresh food, clean air and crystal waters in a very friendly, safe, courteous and respectful culture.
This is very different to what can be expected from alternative destinations within their nearby region of South East Asia, and is also a much shorter travel distance than Europe, North America or Australia / New Zealand.
With the recent advances in ‘Remote Working’ – both in terms of technology and in terms of employees’ and employers’ willingness – places like Hokkaido have become highly desirable for the migration of these remote workers.
Technological advances have enabled a broad spectrum of industries to allow large portions of their work-force to conduct their work duties remotely. This migration of highly-educated, highly-skilled labour is the dream of most economies globally.
From the start of this year, our real estate company ‘Habitat Hokkaido’ has experienced a significant increase in enquiries seeking to achieve a family-home which the client can work from, and raise their children in.
These enquiries span the spectrum, from the young entrepreneur and freelance-worker, right through to the CEOs of multinational conglomerates and large business owners.
Similarly, be they an overseas foreigner or a domestic Japanese, a freelance programmer or the owner of a major corporation, they all seek a new life-chapter. Likeminded people wanting a better quality of life, to work more productively, efficiently and safely, balancing work and with family in a land of incredibly rich history and traditions.
Hokkaido appears to be at the dawn of this windfall, not by design, but by the virtue of its stunning environment.
It is therefore paramount that everything conceivable is done to protect and nurture this beautiful place!
Written by Henry Blake Turner;
Habitat Hokkaido, CEO
Born in Singapore, Henry Blake Turner is a British national who grow up in Chiswick, West London, England. With an Hons Degree in Politics & International Relations from the University of Bristol, Henry has worked in both HK and Singapore.
Now living in Makkari with his Japanese wife, 2 young children and Singapore ‘rescue’ dog.