Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Doinaka means "the boondocks" in Japanese and the very mention of the word will either prompt fear our laughter in most Japanese.  The countryside has been draining of people for a couple of generations now but while most people think of Japan as intensely urban, it has some of the most gorgeous rural areas I have ever seen.  

My last day in Himi I happened to stop by the NPO just as some staff were joining one of the elderly volunteers on a trip into the mountains nearby to collect mountain vegetables.  I had the time so I decided to go, and it was well worth the trip.

 Outfitted with the right boots, of course.

 We stopped at a shrine on our way.  Our host said the shrine was founded 1,500 years ago.

The spot where the gang gathered vegetables. 

Looking across at Hirasawa Village, one of several picture postcard villages we drove through.

Terraced rice field overlooking the Sea of Japan.

A mountain reservoir to supply water to the rice fields.

Getting ready to gather warabi.


Another view overlooking the sea.

I found a farm hamlet and a chicken coop.

The owner insisted I take the day's eggs.

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