Revitalizing regional Japan through better connectivity
WELAGO connects Tokyo with Izu Oshima island to promote new ways of living and working

Co-Working Lab WELAGO

Izu Oshima Island ⇄ Otemachi
start date

The Izu islands are part of Tokyo Prefecture, but the closest and largest island, Izu Ōshima (population 7,055), is a full 120km away. Getting there from Tokyo proper requires almost two hours by jet ferry or a short flight on a tiny plane. In recent years, Izu Ōshima has suffered from depopulation, especially among young people, as Tokyo offers much more in the way of economic opportunity.

In looking for better ways to connect the people of Izu Ōshima with the mainland, Frontier Consulting Co., Ltd. has installed a tonari to connect its Tokyo headquarters with the Izu-Ōshima Co-Working Lab WELAGO. (This is additional to Frontier’s pre-existing tonari between its Tokyo and Osaka branch offices.)

WELAGO’s tonari (Left: Izu Oshima, Right: Otemachi)

The tonari, installed to merge naturally with an existing space, is meant to create more casual counters and promote conversations between people on each side. The hope is that tonari can also help promote new styles of working, where people in Izu Ōshima can better contribute to business in headquarters. And Frontier’s staff in Tokyo can more easily take “work-cations” in Izu-Ōshima.

Mr. Ito, founder of the Tokyo Islands Area Meeting (TIAM), is Frontier’s partner in this project. He grew up across Tokyo’s islands: Izu Ōshima, Ogasawara Chichijima, Hachijojima, and Miyakejima. He tells us, “I believe that tonari has much potential to reduce the sense of physical distance. The proliferation of online conference software during the COVID crisis has created more opportunities for the islands and cities to better connect. tonari’s seamless communications can be an even greater force in creating relationships that generate emergence beyond physical distance.”

“I grew up in Izu Ōshima, but my current lifestyle takes me off of the island and I’m not able to contribute back to the community. tonari can be part of the solution to this problem in connecting our Otemachi Tokyo office with WELAGO on the island. I hope we see a more widespread usage of technology that helps us transcend places and spaces, and people are better able to contribute to the communities they are from. “ Frontier Consulting Executive Officer Mr. Ineda

About Frontier Consulting

Frontier Consulting is a consulting firm established in 2007 that provides multifaceted services ranging from project construction management, design, construction, operational support, and real estate brokerage.

About tonari

tonari portals unify remote places, providing natural, energizing, face-to-face communication that actually feels like being in the same room.

Contact us to inquire about demos, pricing, and availability for your locations.