There is something familiar about the streetscapes and the nature here. In its shopping streets, amusement park and mountain lake, this small city makes you feel a nostalgia for the Japan of old. It was formerly a leader in textile and fashion production, but has slowly become attractive in other ways too. The people who have relocated here from urban areas have helped to awaken the slumbering potential of this city, which has materialized in original ways. Unlike metropolitan areas which teem with things and people and information, change comes slowly here – but in this slow and steady evolution, you sense the things that are only possible in small cities like this.
There are things that we tend to forget in a high-paced, changing environment, but life in small cities, in a good way, contains more “white space” and requires less attention on our surroundings . We can live life at our own pace and remain more in touch with ourselves, and this is a good breeding ground for originality.
Even if a city has a small population, without many people out and about on the streets, if it is home to initiatives and places that have the power to attract, this will draw those from far and wide. These steady changes give our small cities vitality and perhaps they will coalesce into a larger wave, something that carries us into the future.