For a time after the Cold War ended and Japan’s bubble economy collapsed, I used to rent a house in a small middle-of-nowhere village on the Sea of Japan in southwest Honshu. After all the amalgamations and shake-ups of local government in recent years, the place doesn’t even have the same name any more, and most people I mention it to have never heard of it. But every now and then I’ll meet someone who knows the area, and they’re always amazed to hear that I’ve spent time in such an out-of-the-way place. They’ll give me a look that says, Why?
I don’t want to go into too much detail about it, but at the time I needed to get away from the big city for the sake of my health. Someone I knew from that part of the country told me about a house he thought would be ideal for an artistic type like me looking to kick back and recuperate in the countryside. Get back to nature and give your mind a rest, was how he put it. At first I went for quick getaways once a month or so. But my visits grew longer and more frequent, and soon I was staying for three months at a stretch. It was a real rural idyll: ...The story was recommended here on Mae's Food Blog.