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03/25/2010

Initiative and Possibility

There is a question that has been bothering me for a long time since being involved with activities in Iketani:

“Why do so many people continue to visit Iketani?”

100325_cid_image003_2 Every year, 200 volunteers visit Iketani through JEN. If we include people who visit privately, nearly 300 people continue to visit Iketani, a small village that consists of seven households and sixteen people.

Without a doubt, the primary reason why the people continue to frequent the village is the villagers’ hospitality and easygoingness. Another reason is gigantic, strict, and formidable nature, which profoundly impresses us into realizing that we are also part of it. There is also the modest but delicious foods that fully exploit the original flavors of all the ingredients. And the tradition and customs that make us proud of being Japanese… the list could go on forever.
However, these traits are not unique to Iketani , nor have they entirely disappeared from this country...

So then, why Iketani?

Hiroshi Yamamoto, the chief representative of Tokamachi Regional Development Planning Committee, says he is trying to encourage visitors to take initiatives. We feel that taking initiative means seeking our possibilities on our own. 100325_s_2  

At the village get-together on March 20th, this year’s agenda regarding events in the Iketani Village was decided. JEN plans for this year’s village revitalization volunteer program according to the village’s agenda and needs. We are looking for and welcome volunteers who are willing to revitalize Iketani with the villagers again this year.

March 25, 2010 in Niigata |