"Me and Here" is a series in which people with connections to Kanagawa Prefecture talk about themselves and the towns and spots in the prefecture.
This is the first one.
Born in Miura and raised in Miura. After graduating from high school, he lived in Yokohama, Meguro, and Vancouver, Canada. In 2023, he made a U-turn to his hometown of Miura and opened an administrative scrivener's office. His main work is to revitalize Miura and improve the quality of life of Miura citizens, and he also posts information about Miura on Instagram and works to beautify the environment as a member of a volunteer organization. While living in Vancouver, she hosted "Veggie Yoga," which connects food and yoga. Currently working as a yoga instructor.
Me and Miura City.
My name is SAM Tachibana and I am an administrative scrivener and yoga instructor in Miura City.
Today I would like to talk about Miura City, where I was born and raised.
Miura City, located in the southeasternmost part of Kanagawa Prefecture, has a population of 40,442 (as of July 2023), making it the second-lowest city in the prefecture.
The population peaked at 50,350 in 1993, and the population has continued to decline for 30 years since then, making it the only city in the prefecture designated as a city at risk of extinction.
If you look at this data alone, you might think that Miura City is difficult for people to live in, but that is actually not the case at all.
Miura is a truly attractive city, but my impression is that it has not been promoted well and has not reached the people who find Miura attractive.
In this article, I would like to introduce the true charm of Miura that I can understand only because I was born and raised in Miura and have lived in other cities.
Before I talk about the charms of Miura City, I would like to tell you about the disappointing parts of Miura City.
It would be questionable to list only the merits, and just like humans, cities always have good and bad sides that coexist.
① Inconvenient transportation
The biggest disadvantage is the transportation. In tourism, it is touted as ``nature that can be reached in 90 minutes from the city center,'' but in real life, 90 minutes is quite a distance.
② I can't buy apparel supplies
There is no shopping mall in Miura. Trying to be fashionable is quite difficult.
These are the only two disappointing things about Miura that I can think of.
However, in today's world, I think there are many people who don't care about this unfortunate aspect.
Not only those who work completely from home, but also those who are self-employed, as well as those commuting to work, can definitely find a seat from the starting station.
When it comes to shopping, I use online shopping, except for high-end items where size is important, and I am able to live a fashionable life.
Now, here's the real thing! Let's talk about the charm of Miura.
There are four charms that I would like to introduce to you.
For those who don't know, what is Mt. Fuji in Kanagawa Prefecture? You may think so, but you can see a spectacular view of Mt. Fuji from Miura.
I go for a walk every day early in the morning, and on clear days I am greeted by the magnificent Mt. Fuji.
In addition, it is quite famous among Mt. Fuji enthusiasts because you can see the rare phenomenon called "Diamond Fuji" where the sun overlaps with the peak of Mt. Fuji twice a year.
②Fresh and abundant ingredients
In Vancouver, Canada, I was hosting an event called "Veggie Yoga" that connected yoga and food. I also have a qualification as a chef.
From my point of view, Miura's ingredients are really fresh and cheap!
First up is the fish.
Miura City is surrounded by the sea, so a variety of fish are landed there.
It is said that Misaki Fishing Port in Miura City accounts for about half of the catch in Kanagawa Prefecture!
Misaki's tuna has been famous for a long time, but the mackerel is also so famous that it is called "Western Seki mackerel, East's Matsuwa mackerel", as well as other fish such as kingfish, horse mackerel, squid, octopus, raw whitebait, wakame, and so on. You can get a lot of things such as turban shells and abalone.
Even at regular supermarkets, you can buy fresh local fish at low prices.
Miurakko grows up without knowing that things like kinmedai and turban shell are luxury items.
Actually, so did I.
Next are vegetables.
In addition to the warm climate, Miura's well-drained soil rich in minerals from the sea allows Miura to grow wonderfully delicious vegetables.
Radishes, cabbage, and watermelon are famous, but you can also buy Western vegetables such as Swiss chard, beets, and Romanesco, which are trendy because they are fashionable and rich in nutrients.
What's more, they are sold not only at supermarkets but also at farmers' direct sales stands, so you can get fresh vegetables caught that morning for 100 to 200 yen.
My daily routine is to take a walk about three times a week and go to a farmer to buy vegetables. It also makes cooking fun!
In addition, I recently rented a field and started growing my own vegetables.
Growing vegetables is difficult, but it deepens your appreciation for farmers and vegetables.
To the east of Miura City is Tokyo Bay, and to the west is Sagami Bay. The distance from east to west is approximately 6 km, and you can cross it in about 15 minutes by car. Even if you look around the country, you won't find many places in Japan where you can enjoy both the sunrise over the sea and the sunset over the sea.
A famous beach on the Tokyo Bay side is Miura Kaigan, which is accessible in about 5 minutes on foot from Miura Kaigan Station, and the coastline is really long, so you can play without feeling crowded compared to other beaches.
I am also an instructor for early morning beach yoga hosted by the cafe "THE POP-UP" (https://thepopup.jp) on the Miura coast.
Doing yoga while listening to the sound of the waves feels really good, and you can have the perfect weekend experience.
Activities are not limited to the sea. You can enjoy well-maintained hiking courses such as Jogashima Park and Koajiro Forest, and there is also the Takeyama hiking route that takes you to the neighboring city of Yokosuka and enjoys Miura Fuji.
Being able to experience the sea, mountains, and various natural activities within 15 minutes of leaving home is truly appealing.
I belong to a volunteer organization and do regular cleaning and mowing the park and the sea to prevent the natural environment of Miura from being destroyed.
The other day, while cleaning the sea, I was able to discover flowers that can only be seen on the Miura Peninsula. Miura is also home to many endangered species of plants within the prefecture.
As I mentioned in the disappointing section, Miura is not convenient for transportation, and as a result, the population continues to decline.
However, there are some benefits to that as well. "Population density". When you live in a city, there are so many people everywhere you go that it can get tiring. The population density of Miura City is 1,326 people/km², which is less than one-sixth of Yokohama City (8,567 people/km²).
If you go for a walk or run early in the morning, you might not pass by a single person. Even McDonald's is empty compared to the city, and the one on the Miura coast has an ocean view. Please come and visit us.
I highly recommend Miura City to those who are tired of the crowds.
When you hear this, some people may think, ``Low population density means closer relationships with neighbors, which makes life difficult.''
But the amazing thing is, Miura doesn't have that.
Of course, there aren't as many people as there are in cities, where you can be completely indifferent to your neighbors, but I think this helps prevent crime and curb selfish people's behavior.
Compared to living in the city, you are less likely to be attacked unexpectedly by others, and you can live a stress-free life.
It's the perfect place to live a comfortable life with human relationships that are somewhere in between, not as tied down as in the countryside, but not as indifferent as in the city.
First of all, I would like you to come to Miura a few times and if you like it, please consider living here.
I think that the advantage of being in Miura, a rural area in the metropolitan area, is that you can visit many times before you commit to living there, and you can easily make plans for a short relocation, such as trying out a trial life.
There are a lot of people around me who live in two locations, one in the city on weekdays and one in Miura on weekends, so I think it's good to have that kind of flexible lifestyle in mind.
It's great to be able to live in an environment where there aren't too many people, but Miura has an aging population and there aren't many young people. When I think about the future of Miura, my true feelings are that I would like more and more young people to move here.
I run an administrative scrivener's office in Miura City that focuses on revitalizing the city (supporting business start-ups, etc.), improving the lives of people living there (acting as a bridge with the government), and supporting migration.
Please feel free to contact us below if you have any questions or concerns about Miura, not just administrative scrivener services!
Let's liven up Miura City together!
Administrative scrivener office NIJICO