Makoto Tabuchi (Karatsu immigrant)

Karatsu immigrantMakoto Tabuchi

- Please tell us why you moved to Karatsu.
This is my fifth year living in Karatsu. I moved to Fukuoka when I was running an izakaya restaurant and a customer told me, ``My family's fisherman's house was in a livable condition with a little DIY.'' I moved away from the disposable society of the town and came to Karatsu with a spirit of challenge to see what I could do in a place rich in mountains, the sea, and nature.
-What kind of image did you have before living in Karatsu?
There are almost no images. I've been to Karatsu before, just to eat squid as part of a driving route, but that's about it. I didn't have any friends either.
Interview scene 1
-Are there any differences between before and after you moved?
When I moved there, it was close to the castle, with the sea behind it, and the city center nearby, making it a perfect environment. As the saying goes, ``If you live in the capital,'' there is an abundance of nature such as mountains and the sea. To be honest, before I moved here, I was a little worried about how rural it would be, but after coming here, my impression changed to how wonderful the nature and people are.
-Please tell us the good things about Karatsu.
Since we are originally in the food and beverage industry, we focus on food, and the most important thing is the quality of the ingredients. Perhaps because the sea and mountains are close, ingredients such as mountain vegetables and sea seafood are good. It has a lot of history, such as castles and castle towns, but I think the best thing about Karatsu is its wonderful nature.
A recommended natural spot is Nanatsugama, a cave that is also a famous tourist spot. You can enter from Yobuko by taking the pleasure boat Ikamaru, but if you go snorkeling instead of by boat, you will see column-shaped cliffs of basalt made from hardened lava that continue underwater to the ocean floor, opening up an amazing world. . The rock surface is truly amazing, the water is clean, and there are a variety of fish. There are some dangerous places, so I would like to take everyone with me while being careful.
-Did you have any difficulties in Karatsu?
Generations have not changed, or rather, the power of those who protect history and tradition is strong. I think this is wonderful, but as someone who came from outside, there are many things that I think can be changed. If immigrants and young people born in Karatsu and the people who originally created Karatsu can properly interact with each other and make such changes a reality, I think this place has tremendous potential.
Interview scene 2
-Karatsu Castle is the symbol of Karatsu, but please tell us about its charm.
The charm of Karatsu Castle is the Rainbow Matsubara that can be seen from Karatsu Castle. It is one of the three major pinelands, and offers a panoramic view of the 5km long pinelands and islands. There is a beautiful sea nearby and the wind is calm. I think it's very attractive because it's a castle close to the sea. I do yachting, and there is a yacht harbor right next to the castle where world championships are being held. The race starts around the castle after leaving the port, so in that sense, it's probably one of the most famous castles in the world.
-What would you say to people like Mr. Tabuchi who are thinking of moving to Karatsu?
If you want to move to Karatsu, please come to me first. There are many things we can all do together by helping each other, and we can learn a lot of local information, so I would encourage anyone who is worried about something to come. People who say, ``I'm going to do this,'' want to do something with me or learn from me, so I think it would be great if we could connect in that sense.

[Click here for the store run by Mr. Tabuchi]

Address: 2-5-22 Higashikaratsu, Karatsu City, Saga Prefecture
Phone: 0955-80-0942
Person in charge of NPO Karatsu Switch

We asked a Karatsu migration support group

We interviewed "NPO Karatsu Switch", which supports migration to Karatsu City, about the migration situation.

-Please tell us about the role of NPO Karatsu Switch.
We have been commissioned by Karatsu City to act as a non-profit organization for immigration consultation. The number of consultations is increasing every year, and last year there were more than 1,000 consultations, and about 50 families relocated. There are many people who have come to Karatsu once or those who learned about Karatsu through media such as TV and want to move here.
-What do people who want to immigrate find attractive about Karatsu?
Karatsu is a municipality where many people in their 30s and 40s who are raising children receive immigration inquiries. People seem to think that the natural environment is good, it's not too rural, it's not inconvenient, and it's easy to access Fukuoka, so it's just the right place. Many of these people find employment at local companies after immigrating, and we introduce them to job openings and work with advisors in Saga Prefecture. Additionally, more and more people are continuing to work from home, and some are renovating old houses and starting businesses. Karatsu is a city that is very close to nature, so when I'm not working, I tend to my vegetable garden, play at the beach on weekends, and interact with the local people.
-When you moved here, did you find that it was different here?
I also immigrated from Aomori Prefecture, and I found that the people's temperament was much different from Tohoku than I expected. Karatsu is a port town that has been trading with foreign countries since ancient times, and is also a tourist destination, so I feel that there are many people who are very accepting and welcoming. Also, there are many people who are nosy in a good way, and will approach you if you have any trouble. There may be more opportunities to communicate in rural areas than in cities. Areas with relatively large numbers of people are not so crowded, so there is a wide range of areas that people can choose depending on what kind of lifestyle they want to live in.
-Are there any things I should be careful about when moving?
The three things you need when moving are "housing," "work," and "community." The destination you are moving to is often far away from your current location, so there are many things you won't understand until you actually go there. It is important to see the place you plan to live and interact with the people there before moving. At our NPO, we provide support by providing opportunities to talk with local people before moving, and we also operate a trial facility where you can experience life in Karatsu for a month.
-Please tell us about the good things about Karatsu.
Karatsu City was originally a municipality that merged nine municipalities, but each area has a different natural environment such as the sea, rivers, mountains, and remote islands, and each area has its own unique history and culture. I think it's very attractive that a variety of lifestyles are rooted in one city.
Also, the food is delicious. Yobuko's squid is famous, but the soul food "fish roquette" is also recommended. This is a croquette made with fried minced fish, but the standard curry flavor is standard.
-What do you think is the charm of Karatsu Castle, the symbol of Karatsu?
Karatsu Castle is like a symbol that stands out casually in our daily lives. At night, it is lit up in blue and stands out in the middle of the city. Climbing up Karatsu Castle gives you a panoramic view of the city, so it's a great way to get a bird's-eye view of Karatsu. The cherry blossoms and wisteria are beautiful, and it's great to be able to take a leisurely walk around the castle facing the sea while enjoying the scenery.
-Please give a message to those who are thinking of immigrating.
Karatsu is a really nice town, so if anyone is interested, please feel free to contact me. I would be happy if you could visit Karatsu once and feel the atmosphere of the castle town.

[Click here for information on NPO Karatsu Switch]

NPO Karatsu Switch
Office: 2nd floor, KARAE, 1783 Kyomachi, Karatsu City, Saga Prefecture
Consultation counter: 2-6 Minamijonai, Karatsu City, Saga Prefecture
Phone: 090-2507-0303