It’s Andres, from Boutique Japan.

This month’s postcards come from rural Japan.

For the past week I’ve had the pleasure of exploring some of Japan’s loveliest rural areas with a group of friends.

We began in the Kiso Valley of Nagano Prefecture. The Kiso Valley is home to Tsumago, one of Japan’s most charming and best-preserved villages. It’s located directly on the Nakasendo, the old road connecting Kyoto (the ancient capital) and Edo (now Tokyo, the modern capital).

We stayed in a family-run inn with truly heartwarming service, and onsen (hot springs) overlooking a small waterfall.

Our next stop was Nara Prefecture, in the heart of central Japan. Nara was the capital of Japan even before Kyoto, and the entire region – particularly the beautiful rural areas surrounding Nara city – is steeped in history and tradition. Our thatched-roof villa overlooked rice terraces, and our meals took place around the house’s central irori (hearth).

Finally we made our way from the mountains to the coast, and the ever-charming town of Onomichi, which overlooks the Inland Sea. Here we stayed in an elegant restored villa and enjoyed the laid back yet sophisticated culture of this small town in Hiroshima Prefecture.

Japan is full of rural gems – make sure to visit our blog for more of our favorite off-the-beaten-path destinations in Japan!

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If you’re thinking about a trip to Japan this autumn (October or November), we definitely recommend planning soon. It’s not yet too late, but with Japan’s popularity ever on the rise, availability will soon start to become an issue.

Until Next Time!

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Andres Zuleta
Founder, Boutique Japan

“I cannot recommend Boutique Japan highly enough! My partner and I travelled to Japan for two weeks in April 2014, during the height of the cherry blossom season. I am very grateful to Andres and Christina for going the extra mile to help us in a very short timeframe. They are knowledgeable, responsive, thorough and a pleasure to work with. Thank you!” – James & Oscar, London

Click here to see more stories from happy Japan travelers.