Furusato nozei (loosely translated as ‘hometown donation’) is a program that was created in 2008 by the government of Japan.
The original goal of the program was to motivate individuals to contribute to the economic development of their hometowns as it was quite common for younger citizens to leave their nests and pursue higher education and careers in bigger cities.
Under the program, individuals can donate a certain amount of money to the municipality of their choice and receive a tax deduction. In addition, you can also choose a small gift that comes from that municipality you donated to. The nice thing is that taxpaying foreign nationals are also eligible to make contributions and receive a local gift.
The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted our way of life and as a result, many sectors of the economy have been brought to a near standstill. Overnight of Kyoto’s biggest sources of revenue, tourism, has dried up and so it is not only the businesses that exist with Kyoto, but also the local government that is looking at ways to sustain their activities.
With the above in mind, Kyoto City has been making a concerted push in expanding their Furusato Nozei program and KBC reached out to them to get onboard. As we were Kyoto’s first brewery to join, they were accommodating in introducing non-standard donation tiers (ie. 15,000JPY and 25,000JPY).
Since March, the number of items on offer from Kyoto City have more than quadrupled and it should also be noted that our friends, Woodmill Brewery (craft beer) and Kyoto Tanba Ranch Hirai (Tanba Beef) also recently joined the local program as well.
If you have a little bit of money to spare and are looking for way to contribute that can also positively impact your annual tax bill, check out many of the wonderful local products below.