Beautiful Nature, Uniquely Fascinating Historical Sites and Friendly people - Oda Awaits!
My name is Steve. I am a Canadian who has worked and lived in the Oda area for well over a decade now.
I look forward to sharing with you in both this and the entries to follow a bit about this place that I have come to know and love: Oda, Shimane!
The City of Oda is a truly fantastic area on the Sea of Japan coastline, centrally located midway along the long-stretching prefecture of Shimane.
Although it does have a town-center with all of the basic amenities and more, Oda “City” in its entirety is more of a sprawling and picturesque “county” made-up of a scattering of small unique areas that each await your discovery.
What makes Oda such a neat place is its abundance of gems - and hidden gems - all tucked into this region:
The Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine and its Cultural Landscape which achieved UNESCO World Heritage Site status and it's nearby village of Omori which are chalk full of history and culture.
Kotogahama Beach: a pristine white sand beach long-ranked as one of the top 100 beaches in all of Japan and more recently was nationally designated as a Natural Treasure.
The port town of Yunotsu: historically linked to the silver mine, famous for its hot-springs as well as pottery.
Mt. Sanbe National Park, which offers hiking, scenic views, an impressive nature museum, a mind-blowing underground exhibit of an ancient buried forest, top-class hot springs, and even a tasty burger shop as well as a lunch diner which both use locally sourced ingredients!
And the list goes on! These are just a sampling of some of the exciting discoveries that await the person who ventures to Oda.
I'll delve a little deeper into details on all that in the instalments to come, but sufficed to say: Oda is a place blessed with beautiful nature, uniquely fascinating historical sites and friendly people.
With a population of around 35, 000, Oda is just the right size for an ideal experience abroad.
It has a thriving community spirit that is truly tangible - which is both an essential and very appealing part of rural living.
So many groups contribute to making this a great place. Visitors who come with a volunteer spirit and are eager to contribute in some way are welcomed with smiles and friendship.
This might seem a little funny, but it might help share some insight and perspective: when I look back I have to admit that I used to fuss and fret over trying to arrange activities for visiting friends, families, or newcomers to Oda that would showcase all that I feel the region has to offer.
But time and time again, my fussing has been proven unnecessary; the people and places of Oda always step-up and warmly receive its guests with a tailor-made experience that is seemingly custom-made to their interests.
That wraps up this first instalment - but like I said from the top: I look forward to sharing with you in the entries to follow some more about this area that I have come to know and love.
But ultimately, the choice is up to you!