Ubuyama Village is a special place. It rests on the edge of the world’s largest caldera, and is home to some of the world’s kindest people. Though it covers less than 24 square miles, it is overflowing with natural beauty. It is small and remote, yet very inspirational.
The census of 2021 tallied the population of Ubuyama at around 1,400 people. The village is centered around the elementary and junior high schools, village office, and board of education. Travelling along some of Ubuyama's back raods will, however, show you landscapes and nature that have an emotional effect that is undeniable.
The power of the scenery is due to the vast range of beauty in Ubuyama. Standing at the immense wind turbine at Ubuyama Farm, you can look out upon vast rolling hills flanked by mountains. The size and feeling conveyed by this view is often the first treat to visitors to Ubuyama as they stop to enjoy the restaurant and its menu of food with local ingredients, many of which are produced on the premises.
Moving past Ubuyama Farm, you can move into the center of the village, and you will likely be greeted with a smile. The sunlit valleys and stoic forests have much to offer. There are two natural fountainheads in the area, and both offer tranquil pools and rolling waters underneath a canopy of beautiful trees. The clean and delicious water is a point of pride for the village and its residents.
There are many reasons for pride here. The motto of the elementary and junior high schools is “We have a dream.” The board of education displays its slogan “All for one, and one for all”, and it is known and respected throughout the entire village. The many spas, restaurants, and traditional Japanese inns are operated by the people living here, and each one shares a love for this place. Ubuyama provides a very different look at Japan and its people
This perspective is important. Hearing “Japan” most often conjures images of Shibuya’s thriving streets or the beautiful wooden gates of Kyoto. In between each of the larger dots on the map of Japan is where the people and the heart of Japan reside. Beauty on the grand scale as well as the small provides a myriad of experiences and inspirations. Places like Ubuyama allow you to see deeper into what makes this nation great, and that is what makes it special.