How to enjoy Japanese countryside not on your guide book | Guest House AMARGE in Mie prefecture
How many times have you ever visited Japan?
There may be some people who already had visited some major tourist places in Japan like Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hokkaido, Okinawa etc.
If you are looking for somewhere in a coutryside for your next trip, there are some tips for you to remember before your arrival.
1. Seaside or Mountainside ?
Japan is a small island, but you can enjoy a variety of natural sceneries, different food and cultures.
Especially, places of seaside and mountainside are totally different. Generally speaking, people who live near sea are active and rough, and people who live in mountainsides are more slow-tempo.
Of course, you can choose where to go by what you want to eat.
There are a variety of fish and shellfish available near seaside hotels and restaurants. Japanese people eat many different kinds of seaweed as well, so it is a good opportunity to try local cuisine with seaweed.
People in mountainsides are growing vegetables mainly. But some of them are hunting wild animals like boars and deers.
They also have many different techniques to preserve foods since getting foods in winter is very difficult.
So, you can enjoy freshly caught vegetables and fruits in summer, and try some of their dried / pickled / fermented vegetables and meat from wild animals in winter.
Visiting countryside is normally not easy.
You probably have to transfer trains and buses often, and sometimes need to walk a little bit.
Most of the hotels and ryokans have free transportation service. So, you don't really have to worry about how to get there.
But personally, I'd like to recommend you to book a B&B or a small inn. Most of the owners are very friendly, and if they are not too busy, they can show you some famous places nearby, and give you information that only local people know. Some of them may give you a ride to travel around.
3. A Guide
Unlike traveling to major touristic places, people in countyside are usually not good at speaking foreign languages. They may have websites available in many languages, but it doens't guarantee that those places have English-speaking staffs.
Hiring a tour guide is often very expensive. It depends on the guide's language skill and depth of the expertise.
So, again, let me recommend you booking a B&B. The culture of B&B in Japan is still new, and most of the landload have experienced traveling outside Japan, and due to that, they usually have good language skills.
Based on my own experience, B&B owners love their job and the community. They are willing to share what they know and want their guests to enjoy great local experiences.
So, why not staying at a local B&B and befriend with the owner? He or she can give you good information and show you around the area.
4. Total Cost
As you have already experienced, most of the big cities are very convenient and transportations are so easy and not expensive.
But once you plan to visit countryside, you may be shocked to see the train tickets and bus fees are rather more expencive than those big cities.
But if you once visit rural areas, you may be surprised people give you foods, drinks, gifts, information, local activities, and giving you a ride FOR FREE!
Because they are not used to receive money from someone except for selling something, those "kindness" will be provided for free of charge, and they think that's just nothing.
Traveling to cities is easy because every thing and service has a certain price. So, you just need to pay to receive.
But visiting villages and small towns is always mysterious, and you don't know what happens until you arrive and meet people.
But I am quite sure that your total expenses in a coutryside must be a lot cheaper than traveling in cities, but you could experience something more valuable.
< About Guest House AMARGE >
- From Ise Shrine to the guest house: About 40 minutes by car
- Location: Ijika, Toba city ( Inside of Ise-Shima National Park)
- Acceptance: One group of guests at a time (4-7 people)
- Services: One entire house, Free BBQ facility rental, Free Wi-Fi