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Tamba (Central mountain area)


Two hours north of the bustle of the Old Capital lie the charming, sleepy rural villages of Miyama-cho. The traditional art of thatch, now a dying art in most parts of rural Japan, is very much alive here, especially in the North Village, which has been designated a national preservation site. You spend a relaxing morning wandering the villages and admiring the heavily thatched houses, from where friendly locals appear with a smile as they tend to their immaculately kept gardens. Stop at Miyama-cho Nature and Culture Village where you can try your hand at the local pottery or making Washi, the exquisite hand-made paper of this area, before stopping at one of the relaxing Onsen (hot spring) for a long bath and for a taste of the perfectly presented local cuisine as you look out over the rolling hills of this secret corner of Kyoto. Stop in one of the village shops to pick up some of the local vegetables, grown in beautiful natural surroundings on the sloping hills, before saying your good-byes to the friendly faces that pass you on the little streets and returning relaxed and refreshed through the picturesque mountain passes to the bustle of the city


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Copyright (C) Japan National Tourist Organaization (JNTO) (Excerpted from 'Kyoto&Vicinity Walking Guide' published by JNTO)