Achievements/case studies

Kamishihoro Town

Issues facing Kamishihoro Town

Located in the northern part of the Tokachi region of Hokkaido, with a population of approximately 4,900 and an administrative area of approximately 700 square kilometers, the town is rich in greenery, with field and dairy farming flourishing and forests covering approximately 76% of its total land area. On the other hand, rural areas are expanding around the urban area, and the problem of vulnerable residents living in rural areas, especially the elderly, in terms of transportation for shopping and hospital visits, is becoming more and more serious. In addition, the aging of the population in depopulated areas and the decrease in the number of drivers have created distribution problems to remote areas such as Nukabira Gensenkyo.

Introduction of new smart logistics SkyHub®

Aeronext concluded a partnership agreement with Kamishihoro Town in August 2021 and has since been promoting the social implementation of the new smart logistics SkyHub® through the Digital Rural City National Concept Grant Type 1. In October 2021, with the aim of “sustainable future town planning for drones” through the use of next-generation advanced technologies, including drones, Aeronext conducted a demonstration flight at the Naitai Kogen Ranch for the development of tourism products using drones, Japan’s first drone home delivery using next-generation advanced technologies (Japan’s first drone delivery for shopping on behalf of individual households), and Japan’s first hybrid land transportation and drone delivery of cattle specimens, which requires delicate management and quality control, such as temperature control and vibration.

Kamishihoro Town is steadily implementing practical, societal implementation of a new smart logistics system by utilizing the Digital Rural City National Concept Grant Type 1. As a first step, through introducing new smart logistics SkyHub®, a Drone Depot® has been set up in the city center to provide various services that utilize both ground delivery and drone delivery.

Collecting Packages (i.e., consolidating packages that each business carried on its own, etc.) going to and from the town
Create Packages (create new services that didn’t exist in town, create new demand for deliveries)
Aggregate cargo information, analyze and implement optimization of drone and land transportation” and utilize SkyHub®TMS, a transportation and delivery management system that visualizes cargo information, assigns it to delivery methods (trucks and drones), and selects optimal delivery routes based on various information.

Farmers (raw milk, fertilized eggs))
Retail stores ( procurement, delivery, shopping placement and distribution, affiliated stores)
Pharmaceuticals (delivery of prescription drugs and collection of leftover drugs)
Contracted transportation between Obihiro and Kamishihoro  
Food delivery service

From February 2023, “Kamishihoro Eats” will begin accepting orders for food from local restaurants (7 restaurants as of April 2024) and deliver them to customers.


After the demonstration experiment, from September 2023, newspapers are delivered by car or drone to individual households in rural areas where evening editions are delivered the next day (10 households as of April 2024). This is the first drone delivery of newspapers to individual households in Japan.

Currently being implemented in cooperation with a logistics company.

The project is being implemented with the aim of improving delivery efficiency by replacing delivery to areas and locations that are inefficient for land transportation with drones.

First drone level 3.5 flight conducted in the nation

Reference→ The first “Level 3.5” flight approval and flight in Japan


⚫︎First Level 3.5 flight in the nation in Kamishihoro Town with the lifting of the Level 3.5 ban in December 2023.
⚫︎A total of 50 routes are already open with the expansion of 40 new drone routes in FY2023.

⚫︎Standardized drone operations at Level 3.5 are being implemented for newspaper delivery (relay delivery with cars) and food delivery.


Kamishihoro Town has been pursuing initiatives such as the operation of on demand and automated buses, as well as freight and passenger consolidation through the visualization of travel data, in order to reduce the number of transportation disadvantaged people and move the number of shopping refugees to zero. The societal implementation of drone delivery is a next-generation technology initiative, but, also an extension of Kamishihoro Town’s past efforts to optimize logistics by fully utilizing limited resources in mountainous areas, including human resources and vehicles, while linking them to data.

Since the start of the project, the town has been listening to its residents and working together with the public and private sectors to improve its services, across such areas as specimen delivery that will lead to increased profits for dairy farmers, same-day delivery of newspapers that used to be delivered the next day, and lunch delivery services that had never been offered in the town before.

Toru Kaji, Chief, Digital Promotion Section, Kamishihoro Town Office