Nishio is simple, tranquil, and aesthetic. Unlike the infamous tourist destinations in Japan, it offers a suburban vibe that is perfect for escaping the exuberant lives of our. Here I would engulf myself in the local arts and inspiring personal stories, and enjoy the weekend with my closest friends.
Nishio came to me as a destined accident. Initially, our group of friends wanted to visit Gamagori, but couldn’t find any homestay nearby that fit eight people. We ended up booking a place called Key’s House in Nishio, which is an hour away from Gamagori. The owner, was such a friendly “henna ojichan” (weird old man), as he called himself. After our first stay, he offered us another visit to Nishio for a week to explore the area and promote the city tourism. And now I’m here to share all my experiences to you!
Before getting into the main points, let me note down some basic facts about Nishio:
- Nishio lies in the south of Aichi
- Getting there from Nagoya takes only an hour on train.
- Known as “Little Kyoto” and the city of Matcha
Get lost in Sakushima – The Island of Arts
Coming here in the middle of September when the weather was still quite sultry might be a good idea if you want to escape from the busyness of big cities. I took the ferry boat, which cost about 800 yen round-trip, and then rented a bike to explore the island. To be honest, there wasn’t much happening, probably due to the pandemic and the imperfect timing. Yet, that was what made Sakushima exceptionally tranquil and picturesque. Just strolling around the island and finding a piece of arts to take pictures and collect memories already made Sakushima a gorgeous getaway destination.
I’ve read somewhere that “traveling is not about where you are, but about whom you met and be with.” Indeed, what stayed in my mind until now isn’t actually the pictures that I took, but this old lady that I’ve met near Key’s House.
“I’m 91 years old!”, said the lovely obachan. She has made dango for over 70 years. Until now, she’s still making hundreds of dangos a day.
“I’ve had difficult times in my life. I didn’t go to high school… So I followed my grandfather and started making dango for a living. You guys are intelligent, so always be your best and study hard” she said.
I would never forget her, a strong old women who is enjoying her life peacefully, still passionately making dango, with customers and neighbors occasionally passing by to have some simple tango or cups of tea. She is so kind, always giving a smile, and always give me some extra snacks for free XD. Come and visit her , I swear she might give you some extra snacks (like senbei), too. You probably cannot easily find her senbei anywhere else in Japan!
And the best place, Key’s House
Key’s House itself is not a tourist attraction, just a homestay. But there are so many things going on in the house that can be chilling and energetic at the same time. Going there with a big close group of friend for a weekend or a relaxing vacation is ideal. Yet the owner also organizes a lot of activities to make his place and Nishio City be a better attraction.
Oh, and don’t forget to get some Matcha treats
I know, matcha is everywhere in Japan, but Nishio Matcha is the original.
“Nishio Matcha is a prime example of the regional brand; a combination of the cultivation of tea leaves and the unique regional production of tea is practiced all locally from the beginning to the end. This purest form of the single origin for Matcha is rare in Japan or in the world.”