Sakura Mentor

Sending your love to the world #2: support your local area
Ha Hoang Updated in February 2023

Before I came Japan, I thought that I could only discover Japanese culture, history, and nature in famous places like the ancient towns of Kyoto, or modern city in Tokyo. But when I get settled in a small town in a suburban area, I realized that things around me were so lovely and beautiful. Birds singing in the trees, flowers blooming under the blue sky, lighting at night from apartment buildings, and friendly people… The longer I live there, the more I love the place, and I want to do something to support the local community. So, let me talk about the small actions that we can take to support our neighbourhood community.

1. Buy products from local farmers

If you live in the rural area, it would be easy to find stores selling locally grown vegetables, and fruits. But it doesn’t mean you can’t find it in the city. For example, in the hustle and bustle of life in Sakae, Nagoya, there is a lovely grocery store named ピピッと!あいち (Pipitto! Aichi). They offer various fresh vegetables and processed products (sweets, seasonings, dried foods and more) from within Aichi prefecture.
Shop websites:

In addition, many supermarkets also recently open a special section to sell local vegetables. You might see it in Japanese written as 地場の野菜コーナー. So, if you check around, I think you can find one.

I know that the locally grown vegetables from individual farmers are little expensive than those that are mass-produced from large-scale farms. It could cost you more money if you purchase them frequently. However, considering its benefit in a long term, you might think it is worthwhile. Apart from supporting local farmers to continue their work, consuming locally grown vegetables and fruits are good for your health because they are grown in nearby area, so you can enjoy fresh food with high nutrients. In addition, as a country girl, I prefer vegetable/fruits with natural and different sizes grown by local farmers to all the same-sized selection from industrial agriculture.


2. Visit local museums and historical sites

I used to think that museums and historical sites in my town were not so entertaining, and I would just visit it once. Surprisingly, I discovered that they organize many events, exhibitions and on-hand experience programs at different time. It makes me want to revisit these places again and again. At the same time, I felt that the entrance fee that I paid is meaningful because I not only enjoy and learn about Japanese history and culture, but also contributed to support the continuing operation of these places, leading to many more─then many people will have the chance to experience it too.

image1Mie Prefectural Museum
Photo AC – oops
image2Mie Prefectural Art Museum
Photo AC – saruking

Before I moved to Mie prefecture for work, some friends told me that it would be awfully monotonous in the countryside. But in fact, I’m glad to live in this peaceful and beautiful place. If you have a chance to stop by in Mie for a short time, I recommend some one-day trips.

Roofs of old town in Mie
Photo AC – Daphnia

So, why don’t you treat yourself to a one-day trip to both discover and support your local area this weekend? Just google with key word “(your prefecture) + kanko or 観光”, I think you will find many interesting results.

Meoto-Iwa (Wedded Couple Rocks) from a distance
Photo AC – らららら