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Tweet of the Week #150: Japanese Countryside Anime vs Reality

Are small towns and the countryside just as beautiful in real life as depicted in anime?

By 2 min read

Bustling cities and epic futuristic scenery often come to mind when we think of Japanese animation. But some of the greatest anime takes place in the countryside (田舎いなか). These anime such as Tenchi Muyo, Gin no Saji (Silver Spoon) and Dagashi Kashi feature characters in the Japanese countryside, depicting their picturesque lives in small towns. After a few episodes, you’re ready to jump on a train (or more likely, a car) for a well-deserved pilgrimage tour to countryside anime’s real-life locations.

The real question is are anime’s countryside scenes always realistic? Twitter user Noshimoda thinks one particular anime is.

Super Cub is a light novel, manga and anime in Hokuto, Yamanashi Prefecture. The series follows Koguma, a lonely girl who decides she wants a motorized Honda Super Cub 50, an emblematic bike in Japan. To anime aficionados, Super Cub offers perhaps a more balanced view on life in rural Mukawa, and the series has been praised for its realistic storyline.

Countryside elements


  • いやむしがいない
  • 道端みちばたかわべりがアスファルトやコンクリでかためられていない
  • 電車駅でんしゃえきがあってすぐ都会とかいける
  • その都会がおしゃれ
  • 大人おとなたちが人格者じんかくしゃ
  • 若者わかものおおんでいる
  • 若者の趣味しゅみ暴走ぼうそうではない
  • ているところにムカデがおりってこない

“The elements that uphold the countryside’s beauty in anime:

  • No disgusting insects.
  • The roadsides and riverbanks are not covered with asphalt or concrete.
  • There is a train station that takes you right into the city.
  • The city is fancy.
  • Grown-ups are people of noble character.
  • There are many young people living here.
  • Young people’s hobby isn’t to run away.
  • Centipedes don’t fall on you when sleeping.”

Realistic elements

  • リアルな地方ちほいたスーパーカブの要素をてみる
  • 嫌な虫がいない
  • みちはアスファルト
  • 都会はカブで行ける
  • その都会はパーツをってる
  • 大人のおやてる
  • 若者が多く住んでいる
  • 主人公しゅじんこうが暴走
  • 川に友達ともだちちている

“Let’s take a look at Super Cub’s depiction of a realistic region.

  • There are no nasty bugs.
  • The roads are made of asphalt.
  • The city can be reached with a Cub.
  • The city sells parts.
  • Adult parents abandon their children.
  • Many young people live there.
  • The hero ran away.
  • Friends fall in the river.”

Bugs and clean air

  • バランスをるためにリアル田舎のいところをげよう
  • カブトムシがいる
  • やまうみが美しい
  • 山や海のさち美味おいし
  • 空気くうきがきれい(においはく)
  • 峠道とうげみちはしるのがたのしい
  • ほたるがいる
  • クワガタもいる

“Let’s list some good things about the real countryside to balance it out.

  • There are beetles.
  • The mountains and the sea are beautiful.
  • Delicious food from the mountains and sea.
  • The air is clean (except for the smell).
  • Driving through mountain passes is fun.
  • There are fireflies.
  • There are stag beetles.

Japanese vocabulary related to the countryside

Learn to talk about the countryside in Japanese for your next road trip.

Japanese Romaji English
田舎いなか inaka Countryside
地方ちほ chihou Country, region, province
むら mura Village
山深い町 yamabukai machi Town deep in the mountain
田舎に inaka ni hikkomu Retire oneself in the countryside
田舎らし inaka gurashi Countrylife
田舎そだ inaka sodachi Brought up in the country.
田舎もの inaka mono Countryfolk
スローライフ surooraifu Slow life
田園生活でんえんせいかつ denen seikatsu Rural life
田舎から都市とし inaka kara toshi he From the countryside to the city.
都市から田舎へ toshi kara inaka he From the city to the countryside.

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