I arrived late at Matsuya-Sensen ryokan in Awara Onsen, Fukui Prefecture. Despite how late I was arriving, the staff were ready and waiting with friendly smiles. Fukui Prefecture is said to be voted the number one happiest prefecture in Japan. A combination of wonderful scenery, relaxed commutes, tasty food and brilliant sake make it an extremely attractive prospect in comparison to Tokyo's cramped and hectic lifestyle.
A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to take a ride on the new Experience Japan Gotemba Outlet Tour. It was a busy day, and the schedule was packed out with exciting activities.
With Autumn well underway, and the glorious season of leaves turning into flaming reds and burning oranges just beginning, this is the perfect season to get away from the concrete nightmare of the city and escape to the calming influence of Mother Nature. Japan's autumn leaves or koyo, as it is referred to in Japanese, are some of the best that can be seen on the planet. But, the only drawback is: doesn't everybody know it. It's tough to appreciate the leaves themselves with all the admirers ambling through the woods in droves.
by Nick - JAPANiCAN.com Staff