Seattle Couple Explains Why They’re Leaving the U.S. and Moving To Japan

Leika and Brandon Hansen, who both work as educators, have been living in the suburbs of Seattle for much of their adult lives. However, since welcoming a new baby to their family, they began to realize that the cost of living in the U.S. would mean it would always be tough to afford things comfortably. That’s why the couple decided to buy a farmhouse near the city of Okayama in Japan for only $30,000. Leika, who’s mother is Japanese, spent long stretches of time there growing up, and Brandon lived in Japan from 2014 to 2016. Both were impressed with the country, citing a major difference between the U.S. and Japan in public services, schools, and transportation. The couple believes that Japan is more family-centered and much safer than the U.S. When they made up their minds to move, they were surprised by how much easier it was to navigate the real estate market in Japan. They ultimately settled on a 100-year-old traditional Kominka-style farmhouse 30 minutes from the city of Okayama and close to the town’s train line. The house, at 900 square feet, is comparable in size to their house in Seattle but comes with a massive plot of land, a couple of sheds, and ample storage space. The couple admitted that if they would have stayed in Seattle, it would have taken them another 7-10 years to be able to afford a house.