Toyama: Residents inspect seaside district, seeking ways to improve its future

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Children discuss how to revitalize their local community along the coast in Himi, Toyama Prefecture, on Nov. 28.

HIMI, Toyama — About 80 residents in the Yanaida district on the Sea of Japan in Himi, Toyama Prefecture, walked around the district on Nov. 28 to discover for themselves what might be considered local wonders and challenges.

The event was part of preparations to establish a council in which residents discuss solutions to local challenges. Outcomes from the council’s discussions will be used to help revitalize the local community.

A group working on preparations for the council has held a series of meetings called “Yanaida Mirai Kaigi” (The conference to consider the Yanaida district’s future). Participants in the meetings have tried since April to find practical challenges to tackle in the district.

At one of the meetings on Nov. 28, participants were divided into 11 groups to discuss nine themes, such as how best to use vacant houses and how to revitalize agriculture. They then walked around the district.

Six students from a local elementary school participated in the walking event with their theme being to contemplate environmental preservation.

The students walked along the coast near a seaside botanical park and collected shells lying on the beach. They asked visitors to the park about what they thought were essential elements to the place to discover what visitors love about the park and what challenges need to be tackled in the district.

“The sea glass lying on the beach was beautiful,” said Chihana Tsuji, 12, a sixth grader of Kubo Elementary School, which is run by the city government. “I wish there was a place where people could make crafts.”

Members of the conference plan to present outcomes of past discussions this month. Opinions stated in the session will be reflected in the plan of establishing the local council.