Okuizumo Town is located at the southeastern edge of Shimane Prefecture, and the peaks of the Chuugoku Mountain Range form a shared border with Tottori and Hiroshima Prefectures. It is about one hour by car from the cities of Izumo and Matsue along the Sea of Japan, and about two hours by car from Hiroshima City, which faces the Seto Inland Sea. It is a tranquil mountain region with hamlets spread throughout the wide-open valleys there.
Mr. Takeshi Wakuri owns and operates a farmhouse accommodation spot here in Okuizumo Town. Mr. Wakuri is active in instructing the next generation about the difficulties and enjoyment of rice farming, and for several decades, he has volunteered to teach rice planting and harvesting to kindergartners and elementary school students.
Mr. Wakuri’s farmhouse accommodations, Ooe no Sato, are in a traditional Japanese house that is over 200 years old. The terraced rice field scenery, the sounds of the trees in the forest swaying with the breeze, the star-filled night sky…all of these things make you forget your busy everyday surroundings and relax both your body and spirit.
Ooe no Sato provides guests with opportunities to have a variety of rural lifestyle experiences, including rice planting and harvesting, making rice cakes with the famous Okuizumo brand rice Nitamai, and making soba (buckwheat noodles). And, having the chance to listen to the enthusiastic feelings Mr. Wakuri has for Okuizumo is also quite appealing.
We interviewed some overseas guests who stayed here at Ooe no Sato. The purpose of their trip was not just to enjoy the scenery of rural Japan, but also to experience what life in those areas is really like, as well as interact with the people who live there. So, this was the perfect place for them to stay. For dinner they had soba which they made, along with rice, vegetables, and bamboo shoots that all came from Mr. Wakuri’s fields. They had an amazing time talking with Mr. Wakuri and his wife, Naoko. The morning scenery that greeted them as they awoke, with its terraced rice fields and mountains, was extremely impressive, and they filled their lungs with the fresh mountain air.
Ooe no Sato. It is a place where you can experience the bounties of nature and the kindness of people, and a place that you will want to come back to again.
Please read about their experience at the site below.