Backpack: check. Thumbs: check. Sense of adventure: check.

That's about all you need to hitchhike in the wide-open countryside of Ura-Nihon (the Backside of Japan).

The slightly derogatory term Ura-Nihon is used by Japan's urbanites to describe the quiet prefectures of Tottori, Shimane and Yamaguchi. Here on this page, though, I can share a secret with you: It's a hitchhiker's paradise.