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Once a part of the ancient Mutsu Province, Hanamaki had numerous samurai clans creating havoc within its enclave before being dominated by the Nambu clan during the Edo period. With an estimated population of around the 97,401 mark, it is home to the private Fuji University. Dairy farming dominates the local economy plus it has numerous "onsen" (aka hot spring resorts) littered around for a bit of self-pampering. Sitting on the north end of Honshu Island with the peak of Mount Hayachine rising in the northeast, this is where you will find the huge wooden statue of the war god Bishamonten. For those who like to take time-out from their coworking venue for a bit of a stroll in the wild woods, the city partially sits within the borders of the Towada-Hachimantai National Park.

Japan has a growing startup scene where many have the privilege of being able to stay private for a long time with sizable rounds of funding generating growth, rather than having to go public too soon and coming unstuck in an attempt to please shareholders. Japanese startups tend to focus on the domestic market due to the language barrier, which is actually the world's 3rd biggest market giving the Japanese a home-turf advantage. Foreign competitors have trouble attempting to infiltrate this market, as it is relatively closed off to outsiders. Its' government has set aside about one billion in public funds by way of both loans and investments over a five-year period to achieve commercial development on the moon. Startups that qualify will be able to receive funding for such things as research costs and to cover the price of patents.

The race to the moon may be on, but many of Japan's startups are getting into health care, agritech Internet of Things, enterprise software and artificial intelligence. Coworking venues are proving to be the space where the intrepid tech savvy souls are getting together collaborating and supporting each other.

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