Finding answers to rural revitalisation. NHK World Journeys in Japan “The Trail to Chiyanoki: Mountain Biking Revives Village”


This time, my journey with NHK World invited VP Advisors CEO, Violet Pacileo to Chiyanoki Village in Saga Prefecture. She learned about how the village of 30 people revitalised the community by accepting a modern sport into an otherwise rundown mountain community. Please watch the video here.

A stunning mountain bike course has been carved into a mountain of a Genkai-shuraku -- a marginal hamlet where more than 50% of the population is aged 65 or over -- in Saga City. The trail has attracted new faces and energy to Chiyanoki Village, which is facing depopulation and super-ageing. Masunaga Eiichi, who ran a mountain bike shop in Fukuoka City, spearheaded the trail project and eventually relocated there. He spent years cultivating relations with the locals before they would allow him to design and build his trail. His strategy was patience, and offering community volunteer work along with his bike rider friends. Eventually, he got the green light. And in return, he and his colleagues regularly help trim back vegetation and clear roads. Residents and newcomers are now forging a vibrant culture.

About Journeys in Japan

The lifestyle series JOURNEYS IN JAPAN provides an eye-opening look at the many unique places to visit in Japan. English-speaking visitors travel the length of the country, exploring the culture, meeting the local people, visiting historic sites and offering travel hints rarely found in guidebooks.