A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to have the chance to take part in a trip organised by Satoyama Experience to Hida-Furukawa in Gifu Prefecture. While I was in that neck of the woods I decided to take a short 1-hour hop to the small village named Shirakawago, famous in the world ever since its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.
The great American poet Robert Frost once wrote:
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."
I don't know if Mr. Frost ever made it to Japan, but I'm sure he would've been searching for the harder to find scenic spots in a country rich with things to see and do. Speaking for myself, whenever I go anywhere, I want to feel like I'm experiencing something different; something new. Sometimes tourist attractions and crowds of people can get too much. For those of you looking to find that road "less traveled by" in Japan, fear not! As ever, JAPANiCAN has the answer!
Behind me, I could hear the train departing. About four-and-a-half hours earlier, I had set out from bustling Tokyo Station. Now, I was virtually the only person at the ticket gate. This was fortunate as I struggled to coax my suitcase through the turnstile; the burgeoning bag bouncing off the barriers like a bowling ball down a bumper-clad lane.