Going Off-The-Beaten-Track in Japan - Slow Travel Through Totsukawa Village in Nara

Going Off-The-Beaten-Track in Japan - Slow Travel Through Totsukawa Village in Nara

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Oh my gosh, you're joking. This is so cool. Maybe one of the most aesthetic lunches I've ever had. So we've just arrived at our first location of the  trip, which is called Hatenashi Village. And this is   actually part of the Kumano Kodo Trail. It's one of  the routes that's less common, but it's already  

so pretty. Oh, just the drive-in, we were going  so high into the mountains that we're like at eye   level with the clouds. And so we're like kind  of in a cloud right now. And it's just so misty   and moody and beautiful. I'm pretty certain that  that's going to be like a weeping cherry blossom   tree. I want to come back here in spring.  It is decided. Oh my gosh, this is so cool.   My Gosh, that was so  unexpected. That is a big-ass fish. Two of them,  

Chris, come look at the fish. Oh my God, what?  It's massive, so chunky. There’s only one person who lives up here, but I guess like there's a lot  of travelers that come through here for the Kumano Kodo Trail. I definitely want to come back. What the  heck? This is so cute. This is the kind of area   that I love to visit. It's like a kind of like  Nakasendo Trail post-town trail kind of vibe. Yeah, it's beautiful, just like the little details, you know? I really like it.

This is just like a quick little pit stop on the  side of the road, like not even a one-minute walk   from the side of the road. Just this huge amazing  waterfall. Man, I would swim here so quick in   summer. It's such a good swimming spot. There's  so much. It's like deep water. You could just jump   from here. Wow. I've seen photos of this place in  summer and it looks amazing. Wow, so cool.

So we have just arrived at a place called Kuuchuu  No Mura, which I think translates to something like   "Village in the Air." I think it's something that  they would call like an activity park in Japan,   it's like this one big area that has  a lot of different things to offer. Treehouses,   there's like little high ropes course,  a place where you can just chill. They offer   camping, they offer like, you know, camping inside  one of those big plastic dome things. And the   thing that we're going to be doing just now is  a sauna experience in a van, which is very cool,   and maybe a cold plunge. I don't know,  we'll see. It’s so cute! It's so hot! This is so cool.

It's apparently 71°,  which is better. Now we crack the door a little   bit 'cause it was like 78° before, and I was  like, maybe that's not good. I would never expect   it would get this hot in here. Like, it’s a  van, how hot can it get? Nearly time for a cold plunge.

You going need to go for it? It's time,  jump in, jump in. Oh my God, I can't breathe. It's time! Jump in, jump in, jump in! Oh my God, I can't breathe normally. That felt so good! It’s actually amazing. Everything that they provide for you: they provide   the towels, they've got this little like poncho  thing to keep you warm, the cold plunge, the van,   everything. It's so cool. I reckon this would be  amazing in spring. So we're about to go check out  

the air village kind of thing, like the high  ropes kind of area. It's normally not open   during winter, so we're not actually going to go  on them, but we can just get to see it. Spring is when it opens, I'm pretty sure, spring  to autumn. It already looks amazing, so I'm   really keen to see, see what it's like. I'll give you a small introduction. My name is Jolan. I came  

from France like 9 years ago, and I opened this  treetop park 5 years ago, something like that. The   place is called Kuuchuu no Mura, meaning "the village in the  sky" because when I first came to this village,   I was a lumberjack, actually I was doing forestry. We have a lot of forest here. And I think it   was a good idea, not only to harvest wood for  production, but to use those beautiful forest   to spend time in, and I was missing this outdoor  “asobi” playful thing, so I decided to create a   park where Japanese people can relax and enjoy  nature. Definitely want to come back in spring   or summer. This is I feel like this was like made  for us. It's exactly the kind of thing that

I love doing. It's huge, it goes, it's like all  around here. We've only like touched half of it.   There's a whole another thing over there, this  is massive. He's opened it up just for us to   get a little taste of it.

So cool. Apparently there's a really good view at the end. Wow, this is awesome. Oh, that's so nice! Look at that lookout. Oh my goodness. objective of the park is to be tree friendly, so  we try not to damage the tree as much as possible.   So we use these kinds of techniques. Same for the  treehouse, we want the trees to last as  

long as possible. And we should think like every  installation is not permanent, actually. Every   10-15 years, we'll have to destroy the park, leave  the tree free. And so yeah, it's not permanent. This is so cool.

Oh my gosh, are you kidding?  This is amazing. Coffee time guys! Yayyy! Oh my gosh, stop, this is too cute.  I take it off? Yeah, take the whole basket.

Thank you! We have a delivery.  Oh my God, this is so cute! Ah! This is adorable. I just like can't believe how lovely this  place is, and speaking to the owner for a bit,   like you can really, really tell that he loves  nature and he really knows how to appreciate   nature. Insane, it's so beautiful, it's so cool.  This is amazing. That was great. I love it,   very simple. It's cold now but in summer time it’s good. So this is just a place people can   like sit and enjoy. Two hours, one day,  for one night, one group.

Oh nice. So you get the whole thing to  yourself. Wow, I really, really love it. Long time no see! Dorokyo Gorge tourism ambassador! Are you the tourism  ambassador? I believe it, I would come here just for you. Next spot on the destination is one that  you're probably already familiar with if you watch   my videos 'cause I've been here already recently  actually, and it's called Dorokyo Gorge, which is   this absolutely gorgeous gorge, yeah. So I have  been here a couple of times already, once on my   YouTube channel, and I've done paddleboarding,  but there is like a boat that you can take through here and there's a restaurant nearby, and  I haven't done those things here before,   so I'm really, really looking forward to  that. Yeah, I found out something interesting,   which is that this gorge actually kind of  straddles three different prefectures altogether.  

So it's Wakayama, Nara, and Mie prefecture,  and they all kind of share portions of it,   which is really cool, quite unique, but yeah, I'm  looking forward to it a lot. It's so beautiful,   this place is like phenomenal.  What? You have got to be kidding me. You have got to be kidding me.

Wow, honestly, maybe one of the most aesthetic  lunches I've ever had. In the Japanese room, with that view, such a simple meal but like  really delicious, very traditional, amazing. then even if you don't get that top Japanese  room, like even the view from the regular cafe   is also incredible. This spot, man, this spot.  Anyway, now we are going to go ride on the boat,  

which I've never been able to do before, so  I'm looking forward to it. These chairs are   These chairs are for us? He was just like, "Oh, you can go stand at the front if you want” I don’t know about that. This gorge is  so incredible.

And it's so peaceful as well. The water doesn't move very fast at all. It's  usually not too windy through here either.   And he was saying before, just over in  that area, the water is like 20 meters deep,   which is insane, and like these walls just tower  over you. It's so incredible. So we've got...Mie, Nara, Wakayama

all together. The big 3. Sharing this beautiful gorge. What?! Oh my. This is so pretty! It's huge! Wow, I am very impressed   with this hotel. It's so beautiful. They've got  the old, like kind of like the skeleton of  

the building, and they've like still it all there, all the beams,   you can tell are like the original ones, but it's  all newly renovated and clean and beautiful.   And then this is all of the food for dinner, and  it's kind of just up to us, like we can cook it   whenever we want. We've got like a big pot, so  good. There's a kotatsu! I love it, so good.

And then the view on the balcony is lovely as well,  like you're just looking at rocks, but they've got   these little lights on the side that shine against  it. So at nighttime, even though it's just rocks,   it looks really beautiful, attention to detail,  man, amazing. I almost forgot the best part about   it is... yeah! So we've got like the standard  shower room, except it's all made with this   beautiful wood and the beautiful hinoki, which is a  kind of like Japanese wood that's often used, and   it smells so nice! So you have your own little kind of like an onsen even though it's not onsen water but still lovely! How good! Apparently this place was designed by  like a famous architect, he's not Japanese at all,   he's a foreigner, his name is Alex something. But  anyway, he's designed like a bunch of buildings   like around in the countryside of Japan, so  yeah. Beautiful! Good job, Alex! I love it. Ayeee. That's the true chopstick test: if you can  pick up tofu out of a hot pot with chopsticks.

Oh no! It burnt through my sock! So we're on our way to a place called Tamaki  Shrine, which is apparently really beautiful,   it's like on top of a mountain, and all I can  think about is how cold it is. It's really, really cold! Oh my gosh, it's, it's kind of  hard to see from here, but that's massive,   it's like a cedar tree, I think that's  sugi? "Sugi no ki" is cedar, and it's huge,   apparently it's 3,000 years old, which is wild to  think about. My gosh, the temple also is massive,   this is really surprising, it's like up here on  top of the mountain, we're the only ones here,   it's crazy. Not even  touching it.

Oh my gosh! So this is called Tanize no Tsurubashi, I think is  what it's called? But anyway, it's probably   like the largest suspension bridge I think I've  ever seen, it's massive, like I hope it comes   across on camera, it's, it's so, so big, and the  platform to walk on like isn't that big at all,   it's not that wide, and it's got these big like  gaps down the side of it. Apparently there's   a really nice cafe on the other side, so we  need to cross the bridge. It's kind of alarming,   like how much the floorboards move when you step  on them, like why, why are they move so much? Such a nice cafe. Oh hello! This is a  beautiful building. Oh thank you!

We only opened in November. Woah amazing.  Oh, it smells good, smells like good coffee. Yeah, this is a Totsu-ka, so it's a  Totsukawa money that you can use, and it's 500yen so you can use it in a variety of local  businesses. Just in this area? In this area,   but like the gas station, you can use it at, other  cafes. That's crazy! Is it only in $5? Yeah. So if it's like $12 (1200 yen)

you could pay two of these and then use the 200 yen change. So every year they give you a bunch. Everyone gets some. I don't know how that's determined. I can't go that deep on it, everyone gets them. It's nice. It gets you out of the house.

Can I get you guys something? Oh yeah, I'd love a  cappuccino. Can I get some cookies? Yeah, yeah,   Yeah, so those are just over there. Hello! Oh, he's so happy, so happy to see you.

Well, everyone, I've said it once and I will  say it again, this area of Japan is just so,   so underrated. It's honestly shocking how many  things there are to see, how many hidden gems   there are in just this one area like the  Wakayama Nara Mie kind of area. It's crazy,   it's such an incredible area, and I still don't  really see too many people there except for the   like Kumano Kodo, like Kumano Taisha that is  the only area that even gets slightly busy,   but even then it's not that crazy. Yeah,  I've just got a lot of love for this place,   I'm kind of shocked that I haven't actually been  to this area in particular because Chris and I   have been to so many other spots, like we just  recently went to Dorokyo Gorge. So I have been to   that one before, but in my opinion, I think I  want to put like a kind of rating towards the   end of my videos because some people have  been saying that like it's hard to know if these places are like good enough that it's  actually worth the trip all the way to get out   here. So considering how far away this place  is from Osaka, it's about a 3-hour drive or so,  

public transport, it's a little bit iffy here  or there, but it's definitely doable. I would   give this place like a five stars out of five,  or like maybe four and a half stars out of five   just because public transport's kind of harder  to navigate. But there is so many things to see,   they're all incredibly beautiful, incredibly  hidden still, definitely worth it if you're   going to Osaka. I think I said in the video but  I can't remember. I feel like if this kind of   area was this close to Tokyo it would be way more  packed than it is, but since it's close to Osaka   it's not, and that's good for us. Yeah, Chris  and I were visiting obviously in winter, which   is probably like the least aesthetic season, but  it was still so beautiful, so I can only imagine   how good it's going to be in spring and summer.  Like I'm actually already planning a trip to go   back 'cause I want to finally see some of the Kodo  trails, so I was like taking note of places that   I want to go back to, especially Kuuchuu Nomura. I  think that's going to be incredible in spring. I'm  

so excited to go back, I think it's going to be  amazing. So anyway, you have three options for how   you can get to these places, the first option is  driving, of course, this is going to be 100% the   easiest way to see this place especially because  some of the spots are just like a little bit   awkward to get to, and also the public transport  which I'll talk about in a sec, it can be very   time consuming 'cause you wait for the bus and  there's only like a couple in a day or whatever,   so driving is by far going to be the easiest. The  second option is by using public transport, so a   lot of the main spots in this trip are accessible  with public transport, so the Gorge, for example,   Dorokyo Gorge, Totsukawa, like the village itself, that  is accessible. The onsen I'm fairly certain,   and little like things in the village, but there  are a few places that are not, so Kuuchuu Nomura,   which is that beautiful Treehouse area along  with the sauna and stuff like that, that is not   accessible. So it's tricky, I'll put whatever  public transport information I find in the   description of this video. I actually didn't even  know that there was public transport to Dorokyo Gorge   until I saw a bus go by and I was like, where did  that come from? So yes, any information I find   I'll put it in the description down below. The  third option is Totsukawa prefecture, they're doing  

their best to increase tourism here and they've  started to offer kind of like customizable tours   to a group- private, private tour. Like, ahh... what  do you call that person who drives you around,   kind of like a taxi? The other one, not, not the  taxi. You know what I'm talking about. So yeah,   You can customize your own tour, pick  the places that you would like to visit and then   they can drive you around to the spots for a  fee. Oh my God, I forgot to say, yeah, obviously   this is a sponsored video by Totsukawa, thank  you Totsukawa City for sponsoring my channel,   I really appreciate it. I have started to take  these sponsored like tourism trip jobs a lot less   unless it's a place that I really, really want to  go to myself or it's it's really suits my channel,   it suits my personality, and this one  was immediately I was like, oh of course,   I want to go there. I was really, really really  happy to be visiting with the sponsored trip,  

but yeah, I still give this place 4.5 stars  out of five in terms of how worth it it is to   visit from a main city which would be Osaka,  it's just incredibly beautiful, it's got all   of the vibes that I think people are after when  they want like countryside off the beaten track. It's truly a different- I hate to say it but it's  a "different side of Japan", it's the other side of   Japan, you know all those buzzwords. It is really all of that and um, yeah,   I hope you get the chance to visit. Thank you  so much for watching, if you like it, like it,   if you want to see more, please subscribe!  And go check out my other video   where we went to Dorokyo Gorge and then also, Kawayuu and another spot that I can't remember.  

I went there recently and had a great time  with my friends, we went paddleboarding,   it was in a different season as well, so it might  help you to kind of piece your trip together a   little bit better. Anyway, thank you so much for  watching and I'll see you guys next time, bye.

2024-03-10 02:27

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