Great Research! The World of “Furusato Taxation”: Too Many Unique Returns from All Over Japan | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Great Research! The World of “Furusato Taxation”: Too Many Unique Returns from All Over Japan

The latest 2021-2022 edition of "Only One" specialties from each region! Includes a list of "special products" recommended by experts.

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Unique local products…!

Left: Robotic wood stove, 2.18 million yen [Tosashimizu City, Kochi Prefecture] 90 cm high. Height 90cm, weight 200kg. Pizza and toast can be baked in the upper part of the oven.

Right: Lucky horseshoe set, 10,000 yen [Obihiro City, Hokkaido] Horseshoes are considered to be good luck items. They are made by carefully polishing horseshoes that have run through the course of Banei horse races.

The end-of-year rush to pay taxes on “Furusato (hometown)” has become an annual event. This year, too, there is a rich variety of “return gifts” being offered throughout Japan. Especially in the past year, there has been a rapid increase in the number of unique return gifts. Tomoyuki Kawamoto, the president of Furusato, an information website, analyzes the reasons for this.

Tomoyuki Kawamoto, the president of, an information website, analyzes the reason for this: “The number of hometown tax returns is increasing every year, and the number of returned items has exceeded 500,000. The number of returned items exceeds 500,000. Therefore, each municipality has come up with items that stand out. By increasing access to their own pages, they are trying to draw people’s attention to other products as well.

The Covid-19 disaster has also brought about a change in the lineup of returned goods.

“The Covid-19 disaster has also brought about changes in the lineup of return gifts. “Travel-related return gifts, which were popular until two years ago, have been sluggish due to the Covid-19 disaster, and this year they are not even in the popular ranking.

On the other hand, the return gifts that offer experiences unique to the local area are very popular among some fans. Suzuka City in Mie Prefecture is offering a “right to have a 15-minute radio program for one year” for 440,000 yen as a return gift. We interviewed Mr. Masahiko Kato, president of Suzuka Voice FM, the provider of the program.

“Mr. Masahiko Kato, the president of Suzuka Voice FM, told us, “The president of a building materials manufacturing company in Tokyo has applied for this service three years in a row.

In this article, we will introduce all of the excellent products carefully selected by this magazine. In this article, we will introduce you to some of the best products carefully selected by this magazine.

All amounts are donation amounts.

Left: Three live giant sowbugs, 15,000 yen (Muroto City, Kochi Prefecture)
Taste similar to shrimp or crab. A recipe on how to prepare them is also enclosed.

Right: A postcard from Mitsuhide Akechi informing of the rebellion and a pair of Fukuchiyama Castle invitations, 5,000 yen (Fukuchiyama City, Kyoto Prefecture)
You will receive a postcard from Mitsuhide Akechi, who has a connection to Fukuchiyama, with the words “Important Notice Concerning Insurrection.

Left: No.2010 Horse racing jockey’s victory suit, 65,000 yen [Fukushima City, Fukushima Prefecture
This is the same jockey’s victory suit as the one worn by Almond Eye. Each piece is handmade.

Middle: Diorama, 700,000 yen, Annaka City, Gunma Prefecture.
Approximately 124 cm (width) x 65 cm (height) x 29 cm (depth). Reproduction of the Megane Bridge in Annaka City.

Right: 5 kg of drift ice from the Sea of Okhotsk, 10,000 yen (Monbetsu City, Hokkaido)
Ice floes from the Sea of Okhotsk are delivered as they are. Not edible.

Left: Original stuffed animal costume, 3 million yen (Shintomi Town, Miyazaki Prefecture)
A company that produces as many as 200 stuffed animals a year makes them from donors’ illustrations.

Right: 15,000 yen for a seedling of “Popo,” a custard cream from the forest [Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture].
While the fruit rots easily and is difficult to distribute, the saplings are highly cold-resistant and can be grown anywhere in Japan.

Left: Bullfighting DVD 60,000 yen [Tokunoshima Town, Kagoshima Prefecture
A five-volume set containing the fierce battles of Tokunoshima’s bulls during the five years from 1986 to 1989 and 2012.

Right: Originally designed clothing: 600,000 yen (Haruto Village, Gunma Prefecture)
Original creative clothing. The work is mainly based on kimonos.

Left: Metal soccer ball, 2.2 million yen, Nobeoka City, Miyazaki Prefecture.
Full-size furnishings welded from a combination of iron and stainless steel materials.

Right: Ninja costume (black), 50,000 yen [Iga City, Mie Prefecture
A costume inspired by the Iga Ninja. A nine-piece set including pants and hood.

Left: Gift set of 8 rolls of Habisho, 30,000 yen [Tosa City, Kochi Prefecture
A gift for the imperial family. Made with the highest quality pulp and water from the Niyodo River. Manufactured using a super soft manufacturing method.

Medium: Sanada Yukimura Red Preparedness, 524,000 yen [Kudoyama Town, Wakayama Prefecture
Armor of a military commander associated with Kudoyama Town by a company that boasts 80% of the domestic market share.

Right: Sauna hut, 13 million yen [Inawashiro Town, Fukushima Prefecture
2m in diameter and 2.6m high, it can accommodate up to 6 people. For outdoor use only.

The Experts’ Picks for the Best

While there are many unique items, there are also some great deals to be had. Mr. Kawamoto of the previous article talks about this.

“In the past, small- and medium-sized food companies have been able to sell their products at a reasonable price. Until now, it has been difficult for small and medium-sized food companies to deliver large quantities of Osechi on the designated date, and they have been considered unsuitable as return gifts. But now that the companies that sell and ship the products have established a system for handling large orders, they are able to deliver high quality products.
Another factor is the entry of major cities. The city of Nagoya, in particular, has announced the release of more than 700 items from Nagoya Cochin, including canned beer from Asahi Beer, which has its manufacturing base in the city. At one time, you had to wait 15 months to buy a vermicula pot, but if you pay taxes in your hometown, you can get it in about a month.

Mai Ueno, the editor-in-chief of Furusato Taxation Navi, says that the Covid-19 disaster has also caused a change in return gifts.

“Last year, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries launched a program to subsidize half of the purchase price of beef from producers for businesses such as agricultural cooperatives in order to promote sales of beef and other products whose sales have declined. The amount of beef and other products returned has been increased without changing the price.
In addition, items that had not been available as return gifts have been added through the support of Covid-19 Damages producers by local governments. Fujiyoshida City, Yamanashi Prefecture’s luxury Koshu down comforter has been offered as a limited-time return gift since the number of orders decreased due to the Covid-19 disaster.

This year, when the lineup has increased, why not order something different?

Local-exclusive experiences and services

Left: Junihitoe (twelve-layered kimono) dressing experience: 85,000 yen (Tsuchiura City, Ibaraki Prefecture)
You can feel like a Heian aristocrat in Tsuchiura, which is also mentioned in the Manyoshu. Hair and makeup are extra.

Right: Create your own Ondo with “Katano-bushi” 100,000 yen (Hirakata City, Osaka Prefecture)
After an interview, lyrics and music (Ondo) will be created, and the CD will be delivered to you.

Left: Cave Exploration 60,000 yen [Kawakami Village, Nara Prefecture
Right: 150 private fireworks displays, 2.75 million yen (Iwanuma City, Miyagi Prefecture)
Create a fireworks display of your choice, including shooting off fireworks to music

Left: Ticket to become a local hero “Taka Gold”: 1 million yen [Taka Town, Hyogo Prefecture].
Limited to one person per year. A pair of one-day accommodation vouchers for Taka Town will be given as an appendix.

Right: Manyo Line Model 7000 train charter (one way between Takaoka Station and Koshinokata Station) 100,000 yen [Takaoka City, Toyama Prefecture
The trip takes about 50 minutes and can accommodate up to 80 passengers (30 passengers when seated). This is a popular route where you can enjoy old townscapes and seaside scenery.

Left: Three-Day Monk’s Trip 45,000 yen [Fukuroi City, Shizuoka Prefecture].
For two days and one night, you can experience real monks’ ascetic practices such as zazen and sutra copying.

Right: Flight simulator operation experience 50,000 yen [Shinagawa, Tokyo
You can choose your flight route from about 45,000 major airports around the world.

Left: Ticket to become a TV news anchor: 1 million yen (Taka Town, Hyogo Prefecture)
You can become a TV news anchor on the cable TV station “Taka TV” for one year.

Right: Ticket to stay on a deserted island: 135,000 yen [Saikai City, Nagasaki Prefecture
A ticket to stay on “Tajima” in Omura Bay. You can watch sea fireflies.

Covid-19 disaster is gaining popularity
Returned goods of substitute service type

Left: Filial piety substitute service 27,000 yen [Oki Town, Fukuoka Prefecture].
In addition to general housework, the service also offers massages, shogi and go games, and other services.

Middle: Vacant house inspection service (sending a report on the situation, etc.) 7,000 yen [Hirado City, Nagasaki Prefecture].
For homeowners who are unable to return home, this service patrols vacant houses in Hirado City, inspects them, and prepares and sends a report.

Right: Cemetery cleaning from 10,000 yen [Ako City, Hyogo Prefecture].
In addition to washing gravestones with water, depending on the amount donated, the cemetery will be weeded and flowers will be replaced.

In addition to washing gravestones with water, weeding in the cemetery and replacing flower offerings are also available depending on the amount donated.

High value returns of over 10 million yen

Left: Camping trailer, 22 million yen [Uda City, Nara Prefecture].
Provided by a local ironworks. Shower and other facilities can be added as an option.

Middle: Japanese high-grade wooden fish “Gyokusai” No. 20, 37.5 million yen [Aisai City, Aichi Prefecture].
Length, width, and height are about 1 meter, and it weighs about 30 kg. All handmade by craftsmen.

Right: Evacuation capsule for flood damage, 11 million yen [Yura Town, Wakayama Prefecture].
It floats on water and is made of steel, making it resistant to fire and shock. It is made to order and takes about one month to deliver.

Left: Vacuum tube amplifier 147 million yen [Yonezawa City, Yamagata Prefecture
Currently the most expensive return gift. A model for overseas markets is specially displayed for the domestic market.

Right: 18 million yen for a Yakusugi cedar table [Yakushima Town, Kagoshima Prefecture].
A table made of a single piece of Yakusugi cedar that has been dried naturally for more than 20 years.

Left: Disk music box, 17.5 million yen [Shimosuwa Town, Nagano Prefecture
This music box is 1.8 meters high and weighs 95 kg. The discs can be replaced to enjoy different songs. Includes 10 playing discs.

Right: Disaster prevention shelter, underground type, 100 million yen (Yaita City, Tochigi Prefecture)
An underground shelter made of reinforced concrete. Can be built from 21 square meters.

From “FRIDAY” November 19, 2021 issue

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