TOPICS September 2023

Live a Slow Life in Matsuyama

A custom-made emigration experience tour was held on August 9 and 10 to allow people who are considering moving to Matsuyama from outside Ehime to feel the charm of Matsuyama firsthand.

In response to the growing interest in relocating to rural areas these days, Matsuyama introduced a customized tour in 2020, in which participants decide the schedule and places they want to visit, in addition to the conventional package tour. This fiscal year about 10 groups are scheduled to come on the tours.

A couple in their 30s from Kanagawa Prefecture experienced the living environment and scenery of the Seto Inland Sea. They have been searching for an environment where they can enjoy a slow life with the sea and hot springs. On August 9, the city staff of the immigration concierge gave a tour of the Wake and Horie districts in northern Matsuyama. They checked the product lineup and prices at supermarkets and bakeries, and saw the scenery of the Kutsuna Islands at the seaside station “Umiterasu” by Horie Port. They also visited hot spring facilities and Tateiwa Beach in the Hojo area. They plan to open an acupuncture and moxibustion clinic after moving, saying “Matsuyama has just the right population size for opening our clinic. We like the calm atmosphere of people and the sea. We will also be happy we can get vegetables and fish cheaply. ”

(August 12, Ehime Shimbun)

Support for Ukraine with Toys

On August 6 in Matsuyama Mr. Nakaya aged 57 talked about some episodes from his trip to deliver Japanese toys to children living in evacuation shelters after the invasion of Ukraine.

He has traveled to about 80 places around the world, working as an international understanding coordinator to convey the importance of peace and life. In February about a year after the Russian invasion, he visited an evacuation center in Warsaw, Poland, and presented stuffed animals and other toys donated by elementary and junior high school students in Ehime. When he saw the children hugging the toys, he felt that they conveyed support from Ehime.

He also saw and heard many children could not sleep after they separated from their family, leading him to point out that it would take a long time until their smiles return. “Toys are not a waste of time as a means of soothing them until they return to their homeland,” he said, in the hope of continuing to work with schools and other organizations.

(August 10, Ehime Shimbun)

73% of university grads in Ehime stay in prefecture

A survey targeting university students in Ehime prefecture about a desirable place to work in the future, which was conducted by the Iyogin Regional Economy Research Center (IRC), indicates that 73.0% who are from Ehime picked companies in the prefecture. It shows a 5.9 point increase compared with one taken in 2019, before the pandemic. The result indicate that a local-oriented tendency has grown stronger.

The popular reasons given why they want to work in the prefecture are “My family is living in Ehime” (38.5%), and “I love Ehime” (34.6%). On the other hand, the reasons why they want to work out of Ehime are “I want to live in the city” (39.6%), followed by “I want to live separately from my parents” and “The recommendation of my parents” (25.0% both).

IRC analyzed that they had less interest in other areas and tended to stay in their hometown since they had less opportunities for internships in other prefectures during job hunting due to the pandemic in addition to avoiding going to highly-populated areas.

The most prioritized conditions offered by the company were “vacation time” (78.1%), and “salary” (73.9%). On the other hand, “company size” and “company recognition” were found less important.

The IRC considers that the answers were influenced by the idea of Work-Life-Balance. The students stated that even though the company size was small, they tended to choose the company which had a long history and provided a good benefit package.

In their job hunting, the students prefer a face-to-face interview rather than online. It seems that they appreciate a chance to show their strengths directly, and to see the employees working and get a feel for the office atmosphere in person.

The survey was conducted in April and May targeting students in Ehime University and Matsuyama University. 398 replies were received.

(August 9, Ehime Shimbun Online)

New Hub for e-Sports

Kawahara Gakuen opened “KAWAHARA e-Sports Stadium” dedicated to e-Sports where people can compete by computer games. It is located on the first floor of Kawahara Foreign Language, Tourism and Culinary Institute at 3-chome, Minato-machi. Taking advantage of its location at the center of the city, it will be used as a venue for competition and a distribution center of information about e-Sports.

Ehime CATV has provided a high-speed internet line and the “Local 5G” which provides the 5G system only for a small and limited area. There is a “Play Room” equipped with 10 computers, gaming keyboards, and gaming chairs that can host 3 players to 3 or a 5 to 5 game, and a “Gallery Room” where a game can be watched on a big screen.

Ehime CATV also plans to utilize this space for a live program by making good use of its central location and excellent network environment.

(August 5, Ehime Shimbun Online)

Special Account on Facebook

The Toyo (East Ehime) Regional Bureau in the Ehime Prefectural Office launched a special account in Facebook in English, Vietnamese, and easy Japanese to promote the beauty of the Ishizuchi area to foreigners living in Japan, and post tourist information.

The bureau organized a team of young members to work on this new project with DX in 2022. In the FY 2023, a project using SNS to distribute tourist information to foreigners living in Japan was adopted.

The project team composed of 7 members who belongs to various departments in the bureau. They go on fieldwork to create content in addition to their daily work. The page will be renewed once a week. The person in charge says that considering the regional characteristics which many Vietnamese technical intern trainees are found the most in the prefecture, they would like to post the attractions of the area efficiently on the social media



Easy Japanese:

(August 2, Ehime Shimbun Online)

Tokyo’s Popular Shaved Ice is from Ehime

At Himitsudo, one of the most popular shaved ice stores in Tokyo, one item is selling quickly for ¥2,000. Kawachi Bankan Zanmai filled with citrus fruit from Ehime with Kawachi Bankan jam on top of the citrus cream, is the number one order in the store this summer.

The store shaves natural ice brought from an icehouse in Nikko, Tochigi, shaves ice with manual machines, and sprinkles it with plenty of additive-free syrup made from seasonal fruits. On weekends in the summer, the waiting time is usually between 2 and 6 hours. They deal with the waiting line by handing out numbered tickets.

According to the store, they had been selling shaved ice with Kawachi Bankan whose sales were normal before. However, the sales began soaring this year after the promotion carried out with the support of the Ehime Brand Promotion office in Tokyo. This May the store owner visited the production areas in Ainan, southern Ehime, guided by the prefectural officials. He experienced harvesting Kawachi bankan and posted the photos on social media with the message “Direct delivery from Ainan, Ehime.” Then, from this summer, orders began to focus on Kawachi Bankan Zanmai, using a generous addition of fresh fruit jam. On July 21, the store’s Twitter said, “We are running out of syrup! The hotter it gets, the faster this item sells!” The owner said, “As people in Tokyo live in the city, the pictures of the scenery of the harvest area seem to spark their imagination.” (July 27, Ehime Shimbun)