By happenstance I ran across another rural "Notes" site, only this one is by an American living in the countryside of Japan; Notes from Pure Land Mountain. I lived in Japan for two years as a small boy at a time when most of the country was still rural outside a few big cities. Here is a quote from the first post in his archives:
I decided not to take the main and faster highway back home, but to meander a bit in search of the kind of moments one can only come upon in mid-meander, and so took the narrow winding road along the Lake. I would thereby also get to see the old thatched-roof cottage again, where the beauty of its old wood and the stone path to the door was discreetly revealed by elegant bamboo fences and the gracefully sloping arms of ancient red pines and I could feel that old spirit, one of those last embers of the old Japan, like sitting close to fading loved one, moving close to a dying fire
The rest of the post goes on to mourn the loss of that "old Japan" which I can only half-remember myself from forty year's distance.