Simple but Fulfilling Life in Okuizumo

(Escape into the Japanese countryside for a day)

This is Nagisa from Shimane Prefecture in the San’in area.
I am a Tomodachi guide here in San’in.
“Tomodachi” means “friend”.
I am happy to show you around my lovely hometown as a friend and help you make memorable moments in Japan!

Here, I would like to share the latest day-trip I had with 3 friends from Bangladesh. We went to Okuizumo in the San’in area and were made to feel just like locals for a day.

First off, we drove to see some of the terraced rice fields (which is, unfortunately, kind of off-season after the harvest..) and took a walk for 30 minutes around the beautifully terraced fields. It was interesting to learn that the rice fields in Bangladesh are flat and vast instead of being terraced like those in Okuizumo.

The reason why rice fields in Okuizumo take this shape is more interesting. Okuizumo was once famous for iron manufacturing, and to get iron sand they needed, they cut through mountains. Instead of wasting those cut-over lands, they decided to use them for rice fields. It’s very sustainable, don’t you think?

Then, we went to have lunch at a café called “Tataranoie”, where you can have local foods such as Nita Rice and soba (buckwheat) noodles. Both the rice and the buckwheat were harvested from terraced fields. We had Nita Rice balls (freshly harvested rice!!), miso soup with local veggies and soba noodles. This café is a renovated old Japanese house, and we enjoyed traditional Japanese cuisine as if we had gone back to old times.

After lunch, we dropped by the Ooe no Sato Residence to meet Mr. and Mrs. Wakuri. They were so lovely and friendly, and we had a cheerful conversation for a while. This residence was built over 200 years ago and still maintains the traditional Japanese style of housing to this day.

And then, we made Nita Rice balls together! Even though it was the first time for them to make rice balls, they were like pros!

We had so much fun chatting while making rice balls and eating them with Japanese pickles

After a long day of walking, it would be the best choice to go take a foot bath! This place is called “Yunouekan”. It is in a famous hot spring area near Okuizumo and a lot of people visit here just to take in a hot spring and relax.

We chatted while taking a foot bath and enjoyed the beautiful scenery around us.
It is getting cold recently. You might want to come here to avoid catching a cold and relieve stress.

That is a wrap. We made so many memories through this trip, and it would definitely be something that you would never forget.

If you want to experience the very local and rural side of Japan, Okuizumo is the best destination for you!

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