The main aim of this study is to analyze the public perception of contemporary “Satoyama” and to discuss whether it could be one of the potential elements of a low carbon society. It also attempts to outline the potential challenges and difficulties arising from public perception as it stands. To achieve this aim, the following two separate analyses were conducted:
1. Using the data from “The Top 100 Japanese Rural Landscapes” contest conducted by one of the biggest newspapers in Japan in 2008, the words used by the general public who nominated their favorite rural landscapes were extracted and categorized. By comparing the frequency in the appearance of these categories, public perception toward rural landscapes was analyzed.
2. Using the data from a survey conducted by the Research Institute for Human and Nature in 2010, additional information such as the image of the rural landscape, how to relate to the rural landscape, and the reasons preventing people from living in rural areas are investigated with reference to different age groups.