I don't think I would want to live in this area, it's peaceful and beautiful, but it's far from any supermarket. Plus, I saw a lot of signs of previous mudslides. There was a street sign that was covered in mud from the last mudslide in the area (the sign reached above my head and I'm about 167cm tall or 5'6"). Then again, there are pros and cons to where ever you choose to live.
I have to say it is awesome how hikers dress in Japan. They are very colorful!
I, on the other hand, was NOT prepared for a hike. I was wearing sandals, shorts and a tank top. Definitely not an attire I recommend for this trip. I didn't realize until too late that I would be hiking. I thought this trip to the shrine would be like any other trip where it was a fairly simple walk up, maybe 15 steps, and then see the shrine....yeah, you need your hiking gear and possibly a raincoat since it started pouring when we reached the half way point on this trip. Luckily, I did have my mini umbrella! I was prepared on that count! (Failed on every other count though, I could take a lesson or two from a boy scout)