Ecotourism in Shunran-no-sato 春蘭の里
Credit: kiwa dokokano,panoramio
Cymbidium_goeringii Shunran flower
Credit: Eric in SF, Wikimedia
The country life
The Noto Peninsula is famous for the beauty of its rugged coastline and its rural landscapes. In recent years, it has opened up to ecotourism.
In Ishikawa prefecture, villages in the Miyaji and Sakeo regions participating in this ecotourism project have been grouped under the name "Shunran no Sato". About thirty traditional farms in the vicinity have opened their doors to tourists to offer them unique experiences.
In Shunran-no-Sato (shunran is the name of a wild orchid that grows in the region and sato means village) it's not only a matter of sleeping in the locals homes but also sharing their activities or learning to make crafts.
In a rural setting, you can sleep on a farm - these are sometimes traditional buildings over a hundred years old - and, depending on the farm and the season you can try to plant rice, go mushroom picking, harvest vegetables, fish in rivers, cut trees or make crafts using local materials such as bamboo.
The hospitality of the locals, the homemade meals with local products (sometimes harvested by you!) and outdoor activities provide a rewarding experience not only for foreign visitors but also for young Japanese city dwellers.Read: The villages of Shirakawa-go