Meet the Nakamoto family from Tokyo. They’re keen on life without gas prices, keen on getting their feet wet, and keen on having limitless adventures, even within the limits of the city. They don’t own a car, so they’re constrained by the radius of where their bikes can take them — but never constrained by where their imagination can take them. They find fun in what’s right around them, whether it’s in the backyard, on the roof, on the street, at the river down the street, or in the irrigation canal nearby. Instead of recreating “home” far away in the outdoors, they bring that far-away, outdoors feeling home. It’s just how they live their motto: “Enjoy life every day.”
K: What is the background on your family motto: “Enjoy life every day?”
N: "It's a reminder for us that even though there are a lot of difficulties in life, let's try and be a family that enjoys every day."
Where does your everyday take place?
"We live in an area called Chofu, which is in West Tokyo. It's about 20 minutes from central Tokyo by train, but we're right by the Tamagawa River and surrounded by a lot of nature. My wife is a former professional dancer, and I am a former backpacker who now works at a cafe. We have two cute daughters, aged 5 and 2. We both love to bike, so we take our kids and things everywhere with a bike."
What’s your secret to creating magical adventures without leaving home?
"Just making sure we have fun! Climbing on our rooftop and stargazing, making an open-air bath in front of our house – if you change your perspective, you can have an adventure without traveling far. We also try to use what we have to have fun, and not really care about material things."
How long have you been documenting your adventures?
"I started taking photos when my kids were born. Especially since we couldn’t go out due to the COVID pandemic, I started taking a lot of family photos. My wife and daughters are always dancing, making funny faces, playing on the guitar, singing and laughing. I’m always smiling watching them and can’t help but take pictures."
What do you hope your kids take away from all this?
"Hmm.. what is it? I guess through laughter and joy, I hope that my daughters can feel and see how happy we are, even if we don’t have a TV or a car."