It turns out I could not have picked a better spot to suit my needs. As Sachi switched off the car engine outside our destination, the only sounds were the trickling of a nearby stream, a far-off bird call and the lazy hissing of cicadas. The views from where we sat were no less pacifying. Ottobatake is surrounded by greenery for as far as the eye can see, composed of almost luminescent, shivering rice paddies, swaying wheat fields, and dense woodland beyond that. This all boded very well indeed.