Shinjo Village: A Journey to One of the Most Beautiful Villages in Japan

“I don’t feel like going anywhere but I also don’t want to stay at home!” This is one of the common feelings I share with my spouse. If we ever feel like this, two things are usually bound to happen: I will either travel solo, or he’ll cave and agree to travel with me. Visiting Shinjo Village in Okayama resulted from one of these moments in our daily life.

The weather wasn’t on our side (again). Yes, it rained sporadically here and there, and yes, taking photos wasn’t a piece of cake this time, but this mini journey was far from the misadventure we had in July in Kyushu. We traveled to Maniwa City for three hours to get to Shijo Village. The roads, which came alive with the harvest season’s approach and the rice terraces’ changing color, provided us with a picturesque journey.

When we arrived at Shinjo Village, we first drove around it to understand where the must-see places were. In the middle of the village was a long and beautiful street surrounded by trees on both sides. There were a few cafes and restaurants, but since it was early, I couldn’t see any customers in them.

We walked from one end of the street to the other and came across interesting curiosities here and there. For example, we learned that this village was also featured in “100 Soundscapes of Japan” in the water category. There were also brooks everywhere in which carp swam softly. It was a peaceful and intriguing sight I had only ever witnessed in Gifu before.

While walking, we saw a lovely hiking area and decided to try it. We walked for an hour in a fragrant forest surrounded by beautiful trees. As if nature wanted to reward us, there were no other hikers that day. Once again, I enjoyed making a spontaneous decision because it was one of the most peaceful hikes we had ever had!

After the walk, we wanted to drive around the village one last time and had a pleasant experience going through the soon-to-be-harvested fields. I wanted to go home tired but happy and sleep, but at the same time, I decided to enjoy Saturday night, thinking about the work that would start next week.

We ended the night at a delicious yakitori restaurant and came home sleepy but happy. I don’t know if I can travel as much when school starts, but I will miss the roads. 

How do you balance travel and work? 

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  1. leightontravels

    Beautiful countryside, and the forest looks magical, a soul-soothing place. We have a pretty good life-work balance, I think. Since we managed to achieve two days off a week, it’s been a lot easier striking a balance between days out exploring and having some quiet time at home to relax and pursue our other interests. Lovely blog, by the way. I’ll be reading your other posts over the next weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bahanur

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I don’t know if my adventures are half interesting as yours, but I’m delighted to hear my blog attracted your attention. By the way, I’ll read your short stories soon 🙂

      And it’s good to hear that you have a good life-work balance. I cleared up my weekends in hopes of achieving it myself.

      Liked by 1 person

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