SPIRIT OF JAPAN
A Village Full of Smiles
Irokawa is a small mountain village in Wakayama Prefecture, located just west of the Nachi Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage site. More than half of its 320 residents are newcomers, and whether they make salt or are a doctor, their work is deeply rooted in the village.
Asako Toyama, originally from Yokohama, near Tokyo, moved to Irokawa 12 years ago. There she met her husband-to-be, Tetsuya, and they now live almost self-sufficiently with their two young children. For the Toyama family, life in the picturesque village with terraced rice paddies is full of laughter and smiles.
Everyone’s smiles – those of newcomers, locals born and raised there, and children being brought up there – all continue to brighten the future of Irokawa. We bring you their story with images of Irokawa’s beautiful scenery.