Tokyo and other big cities of Japan like Kyoto and Osaka all have their own appeal but the countryside areas of Japan are just as gorgeous in their very own way. And after being in the concrete jungle of Tokyo you’ll definitely want an escape. And there is an abundance of forests, lakes, beaches and waterfalls in Japan that are absolutely breathtaking and worth the side trip.
There is a partial part of the Japanese countryside that is man-made. The word Satoyma literally means mountain village in Japanese but its more than just a mountain village. There are beautiful farmlands that are built on the base of the mountain or on the edge of the mountain forests.
There are crop fields as we;; as forests of trees on Satoyama that are cultivated for lumber and firewood. But of course. rice paddies are what comes to mind first when you think of satoyama. With the mountain rising in the back where the green land is divided into perfect sections it is one of the most quintessential scenes that you will see of the countryside in Japan.
The neat lines of the rice paddies with the mountain and other wild nature in the background is a very unique feature of satoyama. And of course the terrace rice paddies are included.
If you want to find satoyama then a great place to find it is Mount Fuji. Mount Fuji is what makes them look very picturesque. It is already gorgeous on it’s own but when it reflects into the water of the rice paddy it is breathtaking. Because it is so beautiful it is an extremely popular place to take pictures.
The one other beautiful aspect of satoyama is the crops. Many farms grow rice and other green plants like cabbage, potatoes, eggplants and so on. The farmers of satoyama do not grow browner crops like wheat. Because of the green plants that these farmers grow it looks as if it is an extension of the mountain and perhaps this is the one big key for why the countryside seems so lush all year round.
Across the farmlands you’ll find that there are also some old style farm buildings and this is another great charm of satoyama. They are old buildings but they are all unique and it is interesting to see as well.
Rice paddies are home to many insects and amphibians so they are good for the sustenance for birds and the cultivated forests at the mountain base hosts a variety of plants and animal life. There are so many ecological assets that satoyama has to the country and that’s why satoyama is seen as a unique kind of farmland.
But the sad thing is that many satoyama are falling into disrepair because of all of the modernization. But luckily there are still lots of satoyama that exist all across Japan. Travel an hour outside of Tokyo in just about any direction and you are bound to come across a beautiful satoyama view. Even while taking a shinkansen ride you’ll definitely come across some of those satoyama views.