After finally escaping the huge urban sprawl that is Tokyo and its surrounding areas, the rural landscape one is greeted with really isn’t much prettier. Ramshackle, corrugated homes dot the horizon, and more populated areas are a mass of gaudy pachinko parlours and big box stores. Even the ever-present rice fields aren’t appealing, at least around this time of year, as they merely form a nondescript patchwork of brown, lifeless squares.
But that said, life is lived a lot slower, and day-to-day living seems far less stressful. Plus the people are, without a doubt, much more friendly.