Travel with Grace

I want to show you the ‘other side’ of Japan.

We live in Tokamachi City in Niigata Prefecture, Japan, popularly known as “snow country”, full of ‘off the beaten track’ hidden gems. Apart from ski resorts, snow festivals and a few popular onsen towns, the region remains undiscovered by mainstream international tourism. There are many charming farming villages on the beautiful countryside where we get to experience the slower pace of life and get to know the local traditions, savor and enjoy the regional cuisine prepared with fresh local produce sourced from nearby family owned gardens and farms.

This is my husband’s hometown and we live here now. The only regret we have with this move is, why we didn’t do it SOONER.

That said, we want to share the Japan that we love by helping you navigate the Japanese countryside using our local knowledge and language expertise!

I’d love to take you to off-the-beaten-path itineraries along scenic roads to eat where locals eat, stay in local accommodations, and to have an overall authentic experience. Find out all there is to know about the towns and villages along the way with the help of a knowledgeable guide.

Whether it’s your first time in Japan or your tenth, I can tell you that only when you go away from the crowds that you can discover deeper, into real, rural Japan where most areas remain untainted by mass tourism. Only then you can take pictures of your travels without one hundred random strangers behind your back! Tokyo is a great city with overflowing things to do but there are a lot of beautiful places to explore outside of the Shibuya crossing. I’m not telling you to skip the big cities of Tokyo or Osaka because they’re definitely worth going but what I’m saying is that there is more to Japan than just the big cities. {Click on the images to enlarge}

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If you love the natural landscape and beautiful sceneries, then the countryside is also worth checking out.

We have thoughtfully created itineraries curated personally by someone with deep passion for Japan (me!) from day trips and otherwise with carefully selected accommodations, introduction to exquisite regional cuisine and best thing – expert bilingual guide from a local and the girl behind this blog.

I am new to this town and I intend to explore or show you what I’ve explored so far – why not join me?


Traveling to the countryside in Japan can be challenging even for the most seasoned traveler. Why?

  • Most of the people from the countryside do not speak English.
  • There are no English texts in the menus at most restaurants.
  • Public transportation is very inconvenient.
  • You’d most likely need to rent a car + have a working internet connection for Google maps (but then you would need to have an international driver’s license to drive in Japan and some areas do not have internet coverage…)

With all those factors, it’s easy to say that many people miss out in experiencing rural Japan.

Do you want to experience real rural Japan following the trips I’ve taken and written on the blog? Or create an adventure you can call your own like see beautiful cherry blossoms in spring, the vast green rice fields in the summer, colorful foliage in autumn or 2 meter high snow during winter, experience bathing in an onsen or staying in a traditional ryokan? Please subscribe to know first hand when travel dates are available or please get in touch through email: findingbackroads @ gmail dot com.

Let’s see how we can travel together!