Walking around Naka – 中を歩く

Okayama, November – 岡山、 11月

I found endless joy from Naka Village’s winding roads, mountain paths and quiet forests. Anywhere I went, there were narrow, clear watered streams following the road. The nature at Naka differed completely from Finnish; it was more exciting!

津村市・中村の曲がりくねった道、山道、そして静かな森を見つけた時は、これ以上ない喜びを感じました。 どこに行っても、道に沿って細くて透き通った小川がありました。 中村の自然はフィンランドでみる自然とまったく異なるものでした。もっとわくわくするものだったのです。

The roads were deserted, and instead of cars or people I saw kingfishers glistening in the sun, small fishes in the stream, and even escaping baby wild boar. In the forest my path passed the villager’s shiitake mushroom logs, bamboo groves and small waterfalls. The air felt damp and everywhere was bottle green moss and fallen leaves.

道には誰もおらず、車や人の代わりにカワセミが太陽に輝き、小魚が小川を泳ぎ、野生の子どものイノシシが逃げるのを見ました。 森の中では、シイタケの丸太、竹林、小さな滝を通り過ぎました。 空気の中に湿気を感じ、いたるところに緑の苔や落ち葉が広がっていました。

The mountainous roads were quite exhausting to walk; no matter which way I walked there were hills, and slippery moss-covered asphalt. Sometimes a sudden shower from the sunny sky surprised me: it’s called kitsune no yomeiri, the fox’s wedding.


Arts And Crafts Village

3090 Misaki-cho, Kume-gun, Okayama, 709-3407 Japan


〒709-3407 岡山県久米郡美咲町中3090

Arts and Crafts Village – アーツ&クラフツビレッジ

Okayama, November – 岡山、11月

I found Arts and Crafts Village from the Workaway Japan site. I traveled from Osaka to Mimasaka Oiwake Station, where I met my host Toyomi Harada. Amid mountainous forests was tiny and isolated Naka village. As soon as I settled in the Workaway House we had a yoga class.

Workaway Japanというサイト(Workaway:1日4時間、週5日ボランティアとしてお手伝いする代わりに住む場所と3食を提供してもらえるサイト)から、私はアーツ&クラフツビレッジを見つけました. 私は大阪から美作追分駅へ向かい、そこでホストの原田豊美さんに出会いました。山岳地帯の森の中には、小さくて佇む中村(中村:村の名前)がありました。ワークアウェイハウスに落ち着くとすぐにヨガのクラスがありました。

Toyomi and her carpenter husband Yasunori had lived there 25 years; they had a small cafe, wood workshop, weaving and indigo dyeing classes. The building was an old school, and there was a lot of space for those activities. Toyomi was an energetic 60-year-old, and she took care of everything; running the cafe, Airbnb guests, Workawayers, stray cats and vegetable fields.


My daily tasks were cleaning the yard, washing dishes and making fire to the cafe’s two fireplaces. This was the place where we usually spend time; we cooked, entertained guests and Toyomi even spun yarn in this former chemistry classroom. The old building was very cold during winter, and we had to burn wood from morning till late night.


The cafe
Arts and Crafts Village school building on the right
The cafe from outside
Toyomi spinning yarn at the exhibition in Okayama City
Yasu’s beautiful furniture

Arts and Crafts Village

3090 Naka, Misaki, Kume District, Okayama 709-3407, Japan


〒709-3407 岡山県久米郡美咲町中3090