The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun
Unique experiences under hometown tax system include radio slots, famous old trains
Unique experiences, such as the chance to appear on a community radio show or to charter a popular train, are increasingly being o ered by municipalities under the government’s furusato nozei hometown tax system.
Under the tax system, people can make donations to municipalities of their choice, and the amount is considered tax paid to the donor’s own city.
Municipalities are racking their brains to come up with attractive gi s in an e ort to secure tax revenue and also to draw people to their region with singular experiences.
“I’m crazy about Minamoto no Yoriie, the second shogun of the Kamakura shogunate government,” Yuki Ino said into a microphone as part of a radio program aired on a local community FM station in Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, in mid-July.
Shuzenji temple, which has a connection with Yoriie, is located in the city.
is spring, the 31-year-old company employee from Niigata City donated ¥45,000 to Izu and won the opportunity to talk for 15 minutes on the radio show.
She talked passionately about the legend of Yoriie and her love for him.
“It will be a great memory, especially since this year’s historical drama [featuring Yoriie’s family] has been popular,” said Ino, who looked satis ed a er the show.
e Izu city government is also o ering a slot on the show for a whole year.
“We hope donors to our municipality will have a precious experience that will leave a good impression of Izu,” a city o cial said.
e city government of Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture, rents out Jomo Electric Railway’s famous Deha-101 train, which is one of the oldest railcars in service, having entered service in 1928.
In May, people from a center for children with disabilities in Midori, Gunma Prefecture, enjoyed a one-hour roundtrip ride.
“e car’s wooden interior made me feel like I had slipped back in time to the Showa era,” said a senior sta member at the center.
“Because of the pandemic, we were glad to be able to to ride on a chartered train.” (Aug. 9)