These days, I'm struggling to write as more stories to recommend towns and villages as possible, not mere photo diaries of my life. But the time is not enough, haha.
By the way, last summer, I was heading to Sado Island while I was back home in Niigata Prefecture. Ah, well, although I used the word "back home", I myself was born and brought up in Tsurumi Ward of Yokohama City. Niigata is my parent's hometown.
I was wondering where to go this summer. After a thorough consideration, I decided to visit Minamimaki Village of Nagano Prefecture!
I guess most of you do not know the village so here's a brief introduction.
It is less than 200km away from Tokyo Station, taking 2.5 hours by car. Minamimaki Village is adjacent to Yamanashi Prefecture.
The village holds Nobeyama Station, the station with the highest altitude among all the JR stations (1,346m). Some of you might know Minamimaki Village as a village at the foot of Mt. Yatsugatake.
I think the transportation from Tokyo Prefecture is good because we can take a highway bus directly from Shinjuku Station to Nobeyama Station, and also can go to Nobeyama Station by JR lines.
The population amounts to around 3,000. The village is famous for its highland vegetables such as cabbage and lettuce. The village has hot springs, too.
Of course, I've never been there before.
I strongly expect Minamimaki Village to be a nice village. And I decided to visit this village by...
...using Google Map...( ! )
Although I wanted to visit a village which was close to Tokyo but had nothing other than nature, I knew only a few villages as such. I also could take an option of checking some tourist guide books, but I wasn't willing to do so because the villages recommended on such books would have plenty of visitors already. I'm such a bothering man, haha.
This is why I chose Google Map！
I checked the map and looked for places with lots of nature, found some names of possible villages, and googled the names to find the official website of the villages. Then I judged whether the village would be fun enough. This is how I decided my plan using Google Map.
I thought that the area painted in red was full of nature such as mountains and rivers.
I further examined the area on the condition that I did not need to drive a car. Then I found lots of villages and towns unexpectedly.
Attention : Links below are all in Japanese.
Of course the main purpose is to take photos of natural landscapes. In order to decide where to go, I prioritized these judge points below.
I am not used to driving a car. I really want to avoid using it. Plus, taking photos while driving is not that good because it is harder to change camera positions easily. I would like to go around on foot or by bicycle.
I was looking for somewhere where I can borrow necessary fishing tools because I hadn't been fishing in freshwater for long and was willing to try this time. Controlled fishing areas will be a easy-to-try option.
I thought that there were few people if the surroundings of the inn were like plain grass fields. I cannot be clearly sure before going by myself, though.
As a nature photographer, I cannot miss this point. Good subjects can be the first step to good photos. I will bring my heavy gears with me, of course.
I would really like to take photos of moving starscapes because I haven't challenged it for a long time. I think that I can see beautiful starscapes in villages like Yamanashi, Nagano and Gunma Prefectures for no reason.
The last thing I must mention is nature. I would like to spend comfortable time in the great nature, forgetting the city's busy life. My vacations are all for it.
After a thorough comprehensive consideration, I chose Minamimaki Village of Nagano Prefecture.
It must be a nice place...( ! )
After choosing it, I tried to get some information on twitter and facebook, only to find Nanmoku Village of Gunma Prefecture instead of Minamimaki Village. (Chinese characters of Nanmoku and Minamimaki are the same. So when I googled Minamimaki Village in Japanese, both of them area on the search results.) Local Revitalization Cooperation Group (Chiiki-okoshi Kyouryokutai) is not dispatched here, of course.
If the village is nice as I expect, I will do some PR by myself. Please look forward to my posts!