Bored of WFH? Japan’s national parks are installing wifi for digital nomads

The country’s environmental ministry has set up scenic ‘workstations’ to lure remote workers to the great outdoors

Huw Oliver
Written by
Huw Oliver
UK Editor
Nikko national park
Photograph: Shutterstock

We don’t know about you, but we don’t think we can put up with working in the same spot, in the same room, in the same apartment, for all that much longer. We need to up sticks – preferably somewhere rural. Somewhere safe, tranquil and – in an ideal world – incredibly beautiful too.

A new initiative in Japan is looking to capitalise on just that sentiment. The country’s environmental ministry has just set up designated ‘workstations’ at national parks across the country in a bid to lure remote workers out of their bedrooms and into the great outdoors.

Following a trial run between April and July this year, the so-called ‘workation’ scheme is returning just in time for autumn – when many of the country’s parks turn vibrant shades of gold, orange and red.

The workstations are being set up at campsites and hotels across the country, and remote workers will be able to book slots in advance of their stay. And there’s no need to worry about a lack of signal or wifi, either: all the rooms will apparently come complete with high-quality internet access.

National parks included in the initiative include Setonaikai, home to the epic 97-metre Kegon waterfall, Nikko, which brims with Unesco-listed temples and shrines, and Aso-Kuju, known for its epic volcanoes and flowering marshland.

Currently, only domestic travellers will be able to take advantage of the scheme. Under Japan’s current travel rules, you must either be a foreign resident, meet ‘special-circumstance’ requirements or have a long-term visa to get in.

Once the country does reopen to international visitors, however, we could see ourselves bringing laptops and sticking around a couple of weeks longer – especially if this tempting scheme is still a goer.

Want to GTFO of that tiny flat? These dreamy destinations want to give you a visa to work remotely.

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