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Japan's outdoor enthusiasts set off mountain land rush

Turned off by crowded campsites, some buy their own slice of wilderness

Mizuki Nishimura, half of the comic duo Viking, spends time on a plot of land he bought in the mountains of Gunma Prefecture. (Screen grab from Nishimura's YouTube channel)

TOKYO -- Toru Ueda, 50, who used to run a newspaper delivery service in the western Japanese prefecture of Hyogo, wanted a fresh start on life two years ago and decided to buy something unique: pieces of two mountains.

He bought a tract of land measuring around 20,000 sq. meters in the mountains of nearby Nara Prefecture, and another of about 40,000 sq. meters in Wakayama Prefecture, next door to Nara. Ueda spent roughly 1 million yen ($7,756) on each plot. Now he spends time on one or the other at least once a week.

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