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Explore Nishi-Awa Region
Slow down and enjoy the traditional charms of this hidden mountain hamlet
The beautiful Nishi-Awa region is dominated by Mt Tsurugi, the second highest mountain in western Japan. The mountain is sacred to the mountain ascetics of "Shugendo", an esoteric religion blending elements of Buddhism, Shinto and Taoism. The climb to the top is challenging, but there are hiking paths of varying difficulty throughout the whole area, with streams, waterfalls and charming mountain villages. You can rent a restored, traditional thatched roof cottage in Ochiai Village, or enjoy a farm stay to try ancient sustainable farming methods. The area is famous for its "soba" noodles, and the delicate white "soba" flowers cover the mountains every summer.
You can be as active or relaxed as you like here, as the crisp mountain air and slow pace of daily life puts you at ease. Traverse the sturdy vine bridges of Oku-Iya, enjoy a lavish lunch of locally caught wild game at Minshuku Uribo, or splash out on family rafting on the emerald waters of Koboke Gorge; you can even take an early morning taxi up to the mountains to see the spectacular sea of clouds below.