PayPay shifted to a “new workstyle” last September, allowing “Work from Anywhere, at Anytime” (WFA). Nearly six months after its launch, a number of issues associated with this work style have become apparent, and for this reason, we have decided to start a new series of articles featuring WFA to offer insight into solving the challenges of working remotely by sharing some creative and specific practices our colleagues have adopted.
This time, we have Kyoko, who was born and raised in Tokyo. She decided to move to Matsumoto City in Nagano, leaving families and friends in Tokyo.
In this article, she talks about the good and bad about moving to the countryside, with photos all provided by herself!
Live in Nagano, Kyoko Fukuda
How long have you been living in Nagano?
7 months since last October. We started to consider moving to the countryside when the WFA program was first announced.
I was born and raised in Tokyo and love the city. I love Tokyo simply because I was born and raised here, and I think it’s a city where I can always make new discoveries. However, when I saw my colleagues at PayPay who has moved to Japan from different parts of the World to work, I also started to have a vague idea to try living in a different city or place that I am familiar with.
The COVID disaster made me realize that I would have to move out of Tokyo, and I considered many cities, but after the examination, I chose Matsumoto because it fits my interests perfectly, with its cultural assets, crafts, and beautiful nature, and I never get bored with it.
I believe that by improving QOL (Quality Of Life), we can also improve the quality of our work. Also, the fact that I can get to Tokyo by limited express train is a big point.
This is the view before rice planting in May. We are looking towards the Northern Alps. It is as beautiful as Lake Uyuni.
What have you drastically abandoned from Tokyo life?
The physical distance from people and things that I’ve long been familiar with.
When I was in Tokyo, I was enjoying to visit galleries, browsing department stores to get inspiration. Also, since I was born in Tokyo, lived there for about 25 years, all my beloved people like friends and family are there.
And what did you get in return?
Inspiration! Healthy Life!!! Spacious home office!!!
There are a lot more!
In terms of inspiration, traveling back and forth between Tokyo and Matsumoto is helping me to learn and imagine how exactly PayPay is used in people’s everyday life in different lifestyles which is a huge bonus for a person like me, a designer to understand my own product.
How about remote work?
My work efficiency has definitely improved!
Moving to Matsumoto has allowed me to have my own private study, so I can concentrate on my home office. The view of the Japanese Alps outside my window helps me to relax.
For the first time since I was in high school, I have my own room. When I was living in Tokyo, I lived in a one-room apartment with two other people, so it was not uncommon for our meetings to overlap. It’s nice to have my own room without any worries.
[ Season ]
There are many local slopes with good snow quality, and snowboarding is fun.
A lake in winter. Sometimes the surface of the lake freezes over.
We started a vegetable garden at a community farm (2000 yen/year). I finally finished preparing the soil during the Golden Week and planted seedlings of vegetables and fruits. Even though I don’t have anything to harvest yet, every time I go to the garden, I get vegetables from the ladies of the nearby plots lol.
[ Food ]
The vegetables at the farmer’s market are delicious… I was constantly surprised to find so many vegetables that I didn’t know existed.
My name is Fukuda, Suzuki. I have joined an apple farm’s owner system and will be taking care of this tree for one year this year. The tree is said to produce more than 200 apples in the fall. I’m looking forward to it!
[ Life ]
The rent on the house has been cut in half and the space has been more than doubled. There is a mountain right behind the house, so we live close to nature.
There are about 20 spring water wells in the city, so I have been tasting water from various places. I still think it tastes slightly different.
I love the monthly antique market held in the center of town and look forward to it every month. Although it was canceled this year, one of the largest craft fairs in the country is held every May.
Matsumoto City in Nagano Prefecture is rich in nature, with a panoramic view of the majestic Northern Alps, and is steeped in historical buildings and culture of crafts and folk art. The photos provided by Mr. Fukuda really conveyed the rich nature and livable living environment of Matsumoto City.
If you want to know more about life in Matsumoto, why don’t you ask Mr. Fukuda about it and use it as a reference for your migration?
Interview / editing: Takashi
* The information given is as of the time of the interview.
* The content of this article is confidential.