5th Island Meeting Held on Mikurashima

A room from Nango-sanso, where remnants of an old lifestyle remain

In the Tokyo Treasure Islands project, residents of the island hold meetings and take initiative to discuss and polish what the island has to offer in an effort to brand the islands. This report covers the fifth Mikurashima island meeting held on December 19.

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Digging deeper on two ideas

This is the last of the five island meetings. First, those who participated in the fourth island meeting (study tour) on November 26 shared what they learned during their visits before discussing details on the action plan that will realize Mikurashima’s brand concept of “an island with special experiences.”

In order to deepen the two ideas that were coming together in the previous meetings, the participants were split into Group A, which was tasked to think of ways to utilize Nango-sanso and its surrounding areas, and Group B, which was tasked to discuss creating an area that would connect the island with people and contents within and beyond the island.

What are Mikurashima’s action points?

After the discussion, the two groups shared their ideas.
Starting small was a common thought between the two groups. In other words, the plans for both teams did not include making something new or placing a heavy burden on themselves but consisted of actions that can be taken quickly and continuously while holding down initial costs.

First, Group A presented the idea of establishing a Staying at Nango-sanso Club within Mikurashima. Currently, Nango-sanso, which is located in a former village where people no longer live, has no infrastructures like water, electricity, and communications, etc. Thus, if people are injured, handling the situation would be difficult. In addition, in order to spread the appeals of Nango-sanso, the islanders themselves would need to understand the appeals, so it was determined that starting off small by limiting the scope to islanders would be better.

Since staying overnight right off the bat would be difficult, enjoying coffee or lunch, as well as using Shibuya University Network’s idea of hosting a disaster prevention event in Yoyogi Park as a reference and hosting survival events were some of the ideas raised.

Next, Group B proposed creating a place where people can gather to hold workshops and trial shops in an effort to create places where people can naturally network while utilizing the skills of those living outside of the island.
Ideas using existing spaces in the island combined with the concept of the sharing economy by renting the space outside of business hours were introduced.

Ideas for the workshop included island history, ropework, using box trees to make stamps, inoculating shiitake mushrooms, and manufacturing accessories. In terms of using the skills of those living outside of the island, it would be great if places where massage therapists and beauticians can use their skills within the island are established.

The candidates for providing food included kitchen cars and using dining establishments on the island outside of business hours, as well as using the kitchen of existing facilities such as lodges.

Regardless of the proposals, if nobody does it, nothing would begin. Thus, some proposed the idea of creating an office that connects people.

Looking back over the past year and thinking about the future

Kotaro Kuroda looked back on the meeting and said, “Using Nango-sanso seems realistic. After hearing all the ideas presented today, I feel confident about executing them.” He also mentioned some challenges in the upcoming year: “The island is not a company; it’s a community. It’s a challenge since how it will be realized within the community, who will realize it, and where the money will come from still feels vague as we move forward.”

Participant Ikuko Takahata reflected on all five meetings and said, “I think the ideal situation we’re trying to realize became clear throughout the year. I had fun participating.”

The ideas discussed until now will be presented at the business matching event that will be held on February 18. Events are scheduled to be held in Omotesando Hills on March 14 and 15 as well.