By Shinobu Takanashi / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writer
MISATO, Kumamoto — Ambling along footpaths, a type of walkway that originated in Britain to enjoy scenery and old townscapes in rural areas, is becoming more popular in the Kyushu region.
Typically, footpaths have been created by local residents, who welcome other people to walk them.
Taking the lead in footpaths to commune with nature is Misato, a town in a mountainous area of Kumamoto Prefecture with a population of about 10,000. The town has 15 courses ranging from four to eight kilometers in length.
The scenery along the courses include tiered paddy fields, a stone bridge and a satoyama village forest. It takes two or three hours to complete each course.