Savoring Nature in the Senshu Countryside


The grandest aspect of Japan to explore is its landscape. We invite you to enjoy the rural scene between town and country that is called satoyama. This is an intermediary zone between mountain foothills and urban sprawl―the realm of fields and rice paddies, reservoirs, groves of trees, villages and hamlets, shrines and temples. This satoyama zone can be found almost everywhere in Japan and its value has won recognition worldwide in recent decades. In this landscape that humans have cultivated and cared for, a wealth of plant and animal life flourishes, and the biodiversity fostered by human intervention in these areas is thought to be on a par with that of tropical rainforests. Japan’s satoyama landscapes are full of beauty and abundance, and it is within such landscapes that Japan’s culture was formed.

Onions are dried as a means of preserving them, and stands for this purpose dot the village.

One of Senshu’s districts, called Hinenosho Ogi, still has fields and villages much like it did back in the Middle Ages, and it is designated a Japan Heritage site. You might want to try walking around the hamlets of Ogi for half a day. The rice and vegetables grown here are mainly for household consumption and as the residents enter advanced age, it is not uncommon to see relatives gather on weekends and holidays to help take care of farming tasks, especially at rice-planting and harvest time. This area is not much traveled by tourists, so you can be assured of a warm response to your greetings.

Aisai Land sells locally grown vegetables as well as merchandise from other prefectures. At this roadside station you are sure to find fresh and tasty Senshu vegetables and an assortment of local products.

In addition to the mizunasu eggplant, the sweet onions, and the luscious cabbage for which Senshu is famous, many other vegetables are grown in the region. At the direct-sale produce market called “Aisai Land,” shoppers gather on their days off for the various kinds of Senshu vegetables brought in by some 1,070 farmers. In the Kanechika district of Kishiwada, the orchards of the Maruya Farm have produced peaches that made Guinness World Records for sweetness.

Cherry blossoms announce the arrival of spring. Yamanakadani, a former post town on the road between Osaka and the Wakayama peninsula, is famed for its 1,000 Somei Yoshino cherry blossom trees.

The blossoming of the cherry trees has long been the harbinger of spring in the satoyama scene. Yamanakadani, where 1,000 trees bloom along the the slopes of the valley, is Senshu’s top cherry blossom spot.

Okanaka Chinjusha Shrine’s camphor tree is 800 years old. 30 meters tall and 12 meters around, the tree looks like a small forest when seen from afar.

Shrines in the countryside are dedicated to local deities believed to protect the land. The presence of the divine can be sensed especially in large trees and massive rocks. Partly for that reason, many shrines have centuries-old camphor or cedar trees thought to be sacred. Okanaka Chinjusha Shrine is known for its great camphor tree, its branches extending far out over the road.


For Senshu tourist information inquiries, please contact the Senshu Japan Concierge Team.

Back to top