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Interview Questions:

Q1. Detailed description of your profession and what you do on a day-to-day basis. Even if every day is different, we’d love to hear what you do, how you run the farm etc.


The Inaka (Rural) Project is based around a traditional Japanese country house, standing for more than 200 years. The person who splits the firewood that warms us is the master of the house, Harunobu Sugiyama. He has been growing rice here for many years. I’ve teamed up with him and others from the city to grow pesticide-free rice and vegetables.

This old house, or kominka in Japanese, is used as accommodation, a café, coworking space, and an event facility. In winter you can use the traditional hearth. Sometimes hunters would grill the wild boars they caught in the mountain behind the house. Here you can experience the Japanese organic lifestyle.

I was born and raised in a place that wasn’t too city, nor too country, so from a young age I felt a balance of both natural and man-made surroundings. I could go shopping or take in the sites of Tokyo, or head out to the mountains or the ocean, to ride waves, fish and collect seasonal ingredients.

In the same way, I have enjoyed both organic and inorganic food in moderation. Sometimes I would still eat a big mac from the drive-through, while growing and enjoying the rice and vegetables I’ve grown myself. Last year, I got a hunting license.

To me both paths have contributed and enhanced my lifestyle. Even if one’s base is in the city, if you have a place where you can immerse yourself in nature, I feel like you can truly grow. This is why I began this project with Harunobu Sugiyama.

From the spring of 2015, with the support of local farmers, we’re planning to start a 2000m2 vegetable field, 1000m2 rice terrace and a poultry farm in Saitama, about 30 minutes from Tokyo.

We plan to run 3 programs at this location.

•For school children

•A farm-experience for visitors and tourists

•A corporate part-owner farm

Using this rice and vegetable farm as a base, we’re hoping to create a complete Japanese agricultural experience. We’re also in thinking of including other aspects, such as fishing, at later stages.


Inaka(rural) projectでは築200年以上の古民家を拠点としており、この古民家のオーナーであり、米作りを長年行っている陶芸家の杉山春信氏とタイアップして都会の人達と無農薬の米作り、野菜作りを行っています。古民家はcafe、宿泊施設、コワーキングスペース、イベント施設として活用されており、薪ストーブで暖を取ったり、囲炉裏で鍋を食べたりします。裏山にはイノシシが沢山いるのでたまに猟師さんが持って来てくれた肉でBBQをして食べたりもしながらここでは日本のライフスタイルを体感することが出来ます。



1. 子供向け放課後ファーム(after school)、

2. インバウンド向け体験ファーム、

3.  法人向けのオーナー制ファーム。

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Q2. How long have you lived in Chiba? If you didn’t grow up here, what inspired the move?


I have not been living in Chiba permanently, but have maintained a Duel-life, travelling between the city and country.


移住はしていません。DUEL LIFEを基本として、常に新鮮な感覚で都会と田舎を行ったり来たりしています。

Q3.What initiated your interest in organics and organic farming and the idea of having people from Tokyo come and grow/plant their own vegetables? Do you think it is a growing industry?




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Q4.What do you love about Tokyo? How often do you go and what are some of your favourite things to do and see there?


Tokyo is where people, goods and information always gather. I like it because you can see the flow of the various cultures and ages of Japan.

I go to Tokyo once or twice a week. There is such a variety of cultures in TOKYO: From the skyscrapers to downtown, from young to the elderly… Once you cross one the many canals of Tokyo, its flavor can change completely.

It is interesting to feel the difference of this lifestyle.




Q5. Any tips to give people visiting Tokyo for the first time?


Of course Shibuya, Roppongi and Harajuku, are always good, but I think Tsukiji, Ueno, and Asakusa, the old downtown are also interesting. Not the only major spots, you can see a deeper Japanese culture in the local areas. For example, not in the nightclubs but in the alleys filled with bars and red lanterns. There’s more to it than malls and restaurants. I think you can feel more realistic Japanese culture.



Q6. Does your farm have international appeal or only local? Please detail why/why not?


Since the concept of the project is the lifestyle of Japan, and that lifestyle now is very international, I think that it is a valuable place to be able to experience the Japanese culture. Also, I want to make a place where I can show the Japanese lifestyle to both the people of Japan and visitors from abroad.



Q7. If you could describe Tokyo in one sentence, what would it be?


Tokyo is a cloud.

What I mean by that is – From the north, south, east and west, there’s a variety of energy and information,. Tokyo feels like a cultural storage area… Everything is accumulated here.