Niseko Area Boasts One of the Highest Population Growth Rates in All of Japan!
Niseko, the tiny town that could!
In Japan, the country with the fastest declining population, it is hard to find a small town that is still growing. Yet, Niseko town and the Niseko area in general, due to the large ski resort and constantly growing tourism market, is one of a handful of places across Japan that is still growing. It has been picking up attention due to it's growing population and rapidly increasing land values over the last couple months and it doesn't look like the spotlight is going to be turning away any time soon!
Niseko Fights Against Japan's Aging Population
In Bloomberg.com's latest post by Chris Cooper. a Tokyo-based reporter specializing in transport and infrastructure, he has really done his homework and drawn attention to some of the factors that are causing the Niseko area to stand out from the rest of Japan. Touching on everything from the coming Shinkansen to the possibility of a 2026 Sapporo Winter Olympics, Cooper notes that there is more about the Niseko area than simple good luck.
Past Niseko town mayor Ohsaka-san has done a lot, according to Cooper's interview with him, to help change many of the stigmas that foreign nationals face in Japan as well as to make the area more hospitable and welcoming to non-nationals. It isn't just Niseko town that is doing all it can to make the Niseko area more than just a "Snow Mecca". Neighbouring Kutchan town has yearly meetings with local foreign-nationals in an effort to do its part in helping the area grow as well.
All of these efforts have clearly paid off, as Niseko town's population has increased 2.9 percent this last year compared to the country's overall decline of 0.7 percent. This growth isn't all immigration either, but the influx of foreign nationals has also contributed to the growing economy in the area, which is expanding rapidly to support an increasing number of young families, Japanese and expat alike.