More young Japanese move out of cities to pursue hybrid agricultural life

Edited By: IAAS Secretariat

More and more young employees are relocating to Japan’s rural areas to pursue their hobbies while making their own food. Known as “han-nō, han-X” (“half-agriculture, half-X”), young people are trying out a lifestyle integrating farming and their vocations.

The population of Japan’s megacities continues to boom as millions of people crowd the city centers to work, study, and settle down. Though enticing because of abundant opportunities, the highly urbanized lifestyle might also bring stress and immense pressure, especially among young professionals. The idea of relocating and pursuing hobbies in farming communities was first popularized in the 1990s. Today, the concept flourishes once again in Japan, amidst the pandemic and all of the issues surrounding city life.

The agricultural lifestyle revolution is centered on the idea of being a half-farmer, half-hobbyist, no matter what kind of hobby a person wants to engage in. From writing to food shops, more and more people are venturing out of their corporate lives to be free to pursue their much-loved hobbies while growing their own food.

According to former Greenpeace Japan’s executive director Jun Hoshikawa, the idea of “han-nō, han-X” can be a pathway to a more sustainable world. Aside from environmental gains, the concept of people growing their own food while earning a modest income through their hobbies will make people feel happiness and fulfillment for free, something that they had previously chased by spending money.