Our last stop on the trip were the remote mountain villages of Gokayama. This was what I pictured rural Japan to be like. It was beyond words. When we walked up to the town from the bus stop, it was like walking back into time. The village we were staying in had 18 minka, Japanese farm houses. We split up into two groups and stayed the night in these historic houses. It was a beautiful thing, seeing the townspeple go about their day exactly how their ancestors did for generations. We watched a man and his son prep and plant a rice paddy. The food in this town was delicious...you could tell it was fresh, and for once, no preservatives!! yay! We walked down the hill to town to a paper factory and watched how they made paper. The old woman making the paper informed us of a festival that was going on in town and took us through these back alleys to the "town square". There we watched music and dance performances. It was such a special experience to see how connected these people were to their culture and to nature. And the landscape was breathtaking. A great way to end our trip through central Japan.