Like in many other small villages in Japan, the population of Sasama in Shizuoka Prefecture is declining due to aging. But US-native Shelley Clarke is determined to change that. To attract tourists, she's turned an old house into a cafe cum lodging facility. She's also learning a local traditional dance to help preserve it. We follow her in her efforts to reinvigorate her beloved village of adoption. We also meet Korean Kim Eun-young, whose online cooking lessons are drawing in students from all over Japan.
Shelley performs the ceremonial dance Sasama Kagura
Shelley holds a mask worn during the traditional dance
Shelley greets customers at her cafe set up in an old house she renovated
Due to the pandemic, Kim has shifted her cooking lessons to an online format