What do you say if I say that there are about 1,000 Japanese who are celebrating midsummer, go on crayfish, speaks Swedish and follow the Swedish traditions?
Sweden Hills is a village in Japan with about 1000 inhabitants. The village is located on the island of Hokkaido, about an hour from Japan’s fifth largest city, Sapporo. Sweden Hills is not like any village anywhere. Sweden Hills is nämligt as Sweden, though in Japan (Yes, you read that right).
Did you not know that you were in Japan, it would easily have thought that it ended up in an idyllic Swedish village. Here is everything that is typically Swedish, with everything from the typical red-colored houses to the traditions of Midsummer and crayfish. It all started about 30 years ago after a Swedish ambassador visited the site and pointed out how similar climate and landscape was to the Swedish.
30 years later we see Sweden Hills as the idyllic place where the locals have embraced both the language and Swedish traditions. Of course, there is also a golf club. It has been named as a sister city to Leksand (a Swedish town). It is also in Leksand (specifically in Insjön) as a Japanese company built the classic red wooden houses before they were shipped onwards to Japan.
It is almost as if one could say that Sweden Hills is more Swedish than Sweden. Here is unlike in Sweden a lot of locals around in traditional costumes. On the city’s website, they are selling the concept to people who are looking for the perfect quality of life.
In the video below, you can go on a quick ride through one of the addresses in Sweden Hills.
So what do you think of Sweden Hills? Is this a place you would like to visit, or perhaps even celebrate midsummer or go on a traditional crayfish party?