If you are ever wondering where Square One is, check out this Google Map. Feel free to Zoom Out to get a better idea of where we are in compared to the other places in Hokkaido or Japan.
View Higashikawa Property in a larger map
As you can see by the map, we have "civilization" on one side of us (West) and an abundance of nature on the other side of us (East). At night we can hear the river rapids from the local Chubetsu River (South) and on clear days, we can clearly see The Taisetsuzan Mountains in largest National Park of Japan of the same name (20km East). There is a cycling road alongside the river where we can either go West into town or East into the mountains. There is a bus stop two blocks (North) of us that is the last bus stop on this side of town. Within a kilometer of Square One, we have a supermarket (local food sold there), sushi shop, post office, ramen shop, izakaya, bank, town hall, cake shop, bicycle shop, convenience store, a couple bakeries, many cafe's, a handful of local vege stands and a few coffee shops. Currently, we have two vehicles, but will be able to easily cut down to one if/when Toby stops teaching in Tohma (hard to bicycle those 20km in the winter). We'll also be cut down to zero cars once we both stop needing vehicles for commuting.
In short, life is good in this neighborhood!! Being on the edge of town is purr-fect (as Bomber and Jack would say) since we can enjoy the beauty & proximity of nature while being able to live sustainably near all the amenities of town.