hey i room with japanese guys so i may be able to answer some of your questions. i don't know about the country side or where the mountains are but from what my japanese friends tell me, it's hard to move around japan if you don't speak the language. they told me that most people will ignore you if you speak english. not saying everyone will but most will. so i suggest going with someone who knows japanese or if you really don't care than go with a buddy so you guys can get lost together and create a crazy adventure over there. lol. as for places to board, i'll ask my friends where all the places are at.