Amusing ourselves actively with nature.
Text : Nanwa Tamada / Photo : Kaina Honma
Driving up north for 90 minutes on Route 162 called Shuzankaido from Kyoto City. Miyama-cho in Nantan City, Kyoto Prefecture has about 4,500 population and surrounded by the 800m altitude mountains with plenty of natures around. This town is called ‘Reservoir of animals and plants’ since most of the area in town is covered by forest. You can see romantic night sky with full of stars because of the clear air. There is clear Miyama River in the center of the town and you can see famous thatched houses lining up along a riverside. The atmosphere of these traditional thatched houses in Miyama and nature is considered as original scenery of Japan which people who live there create. Having a plenty of flesh air and let us have some experiences of Miyama nature.
Chii area which is located in the eastside of Miyama town has many of thatched houses. It was also designated as the Nation’s Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings and called as ‘Kayabukino-sato’. While you walk around the country road along the side of all these traditional houses, it feels very nostalgic to see the old tube-shaped mailbox, farm tools, straw raincoat hanging on the outside wall.
Moreover, there is a vast primeval forest called ‘Ashiu Forest Research Station’ at the headstream of the Miyama River. Soft sunshine filtering through foliage, the tweet of birds will heal your mind while you take a therapeutic walk in the forest.
Changing its face from season to season. Throughout a whole year, tourists will never be faded away. It is also well-known for autumn tradition to see a farm of full bloom of buckwheat flowers with thatched houses background in early autumn season. In winter time, ‘Kayabuki Yuki-dorou’ which lights up all thatched houses with 1,000 lanterns. One of the attractiveness in Miyama is that you can have various way to enjoy the scenery in each season.
Also, having blessings of nature is a part of fun part on your trip. You can have rice, local vegetables, homebred chicken and eggs from a chicken ranch, Miyama milk, the meat of deer, and sweets, which are grown with flesh water and air, at a restaurant or hostel. Why don’t you use your 5 senses to feel their nature fully.
Please come and visit Miyama which will give you a peace of mind and heel your soul.
and moreover, on the way back to Kyoto City from Miyama, please stop by ‘Keihoku’ area along Route 162.
In spring and summer time, you can have an experience of mushroom hunting, and between June and September, outdoor BBQ, mountain stream fishing especially for sweetfish and Nagashi somen and making pizza will be waiting for you. Recently they started having a facility of paraglider so that you can look down the best scenery of nature in Kyoto from above. If you are tired of spending time in the city, this will be the best way to have something refreshing. Not only a family with kids, but also any couples who likes outdoor activities often visit this area in these days.
In spring time, Joshoko-ji Temple, which has a connection with the imperial family, has beautiful Sakura trees. They have ‘Kokonoe-zakura’ which is a natural monument nationally designated, ‘Sakonno-sakura’ which was given by Gosho (Imperial Palace), and ‘Mikuruma-gaeshi-no-sakura (cherry trees that make the imperial carriage come back)’ which has single blossoms and double blossoms all together on one branch.
Please enjoy the nature fully through your body by stepping out of the city.
★TRAVEL IDEA ‘10 Things To Do in Kyoto'
① Visiting Temples and Shrines
② Buying souvenirs
③ Visiting Arashiyama・Sagano
④ Having Kyo-ryori
⑤ Wearing Kimono
⑥ Having Japanese tea
⑦ Having seafood
⑧ Visiting shops in Machiya
⑨ Being exposed to a traditional culture
⑩ Feeling nature