8 Beautiful Rice Terraces You Must See in Japan

8 Beautiful Rice Terraces You Must See in Japan


2020.04.20

NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR

8 Beautiful Rice Terraces You Must See in Japan

Also known as tiered rice fields, tanada once served as an integral part of agricultural landscapes in Japan, especially in hilly or mountainous terrain. However, this idyllic scenery is becoming less common due to the acceleration of mechanized agriculture and lack of successors taking on from older farmers.

Typically, the best seasons to see tanada are spring and summer when the water-filled rice paddies exhibit shades of bright green. If you visit tanada in autumn (before the harvest season), you will see golden fields brimming with ripe crops. We have listed some of the best tanada below, so take a read if you're up for an authentic Japanese countryside experience! These rice terraces are still in use, so please follow instructions for visitors and respect the local community when you visit.

  • 01

    Oyama Senmaida, Chiba Prefecture

    Oyama Senmaida

    Oyama Senmaida

    Oyama Senmaida nestles in a beautiful, mountainous area in Kamogawa City. Renowned as the closest rice terrace to Tokyo, the field attracts tourists in all seasons and includes captivating views of green fields after the rice has been planted in spring, as well as swaying, golden rice paddies in autumn. During late October to early January e ach year, the local community hosts an illumination event that sees 10,000 LED candles wrapped mystically around the terraces.

    Oyama Senmaida

    Oyama Senmaida

    [Access]
    Take a bus bound for Kozuka and Hiratsuka from Awa-kamogawa Station (JR Sotobo Line). Get off at Kamanuma (Oyama Senmaida Entrance) and walk for around 15 minutes.

    Oyama Senmaida
    place
    Chiba Pref. Kamogawashi Hiratsuka 540
  • 02

    Obasute no Tanada, Nagano Prefecture

    Obasute no Tanada

    Obasute no Tanada

    Obasute no Tanada in Chikuma City is a popular site for amateur photographers and train enthusiasts, with more than 2,000 rows of rice terraces expanding right below its peaceful train station. The train rails leading up to Obasute Station feature two switchback locations where trains reverse direction in order to climb the steep hillside. At night, this area offers a panoramic view of the Zenkoji Daira basin as it glows fantastically with the city lights. This area is designated as a National Site of Scenic Beauty.

    Obasute no Tanada

    Obasute no Tanada

    [Access]
    A 10-minute walk from Obasute Station (JR Shinooi Line)

    Obasute Rice Terraces
    place
    Nagano Pref. Chikumashi Yawata
  • 03

    Hoshitoge no Tnanada, Niigata Prefecture

    Hoshitoge no Tnanada

    Hoshitoge no Tnanada

    Niigata is a prefecture known for producing some of the nation’s best rice and sake, plenty of which comes from Hoshitoge, a rice terrace nestled along the mountains of the Matsudai region. Although this area is becoming a popular tourist attraction, it’s also the livelihood of many of Niigata’s local farmers, and must always be respected to ensure its long-term survival. As the light bounces off the mountainside the fields resemble shiny scales of a fish; it's a scene that attracts many photo fanatics who make the pilgrimage to try and capture its lush beauty.

    [Access]
    A 20-minute drive from Matsudai Station (Hokuhoku Line)

    Hoshitoge terraced rice fields
    place
    Nigata Pref. Tokamachishi Touge
  • 04

    Shiroyone Senmaida, Ishikawa Prefecture

    Shiroyone Senmaida

    Shiroyone Senmaida

    Located atop the Noto Peninsula, Shirayone Senmaida in Wajima City features 1,000 rows of rice terraces that face the beautiful Japan Sea coast. In early summer, visitors can enjoy the stunning contrast of lush green fields and deep blue water. On bright days, you can enjoy orange sunsets as they create warm reflections against the coastline. Visit between mid-October and mid-March to experience the annual Aze no Kirameki event that features 20,000 solar LED lights colorfully illuminating the terraces.

    Shiroyone Senmaida

    Shiroyone Senmaida

    [Access]
    From Anamizu Station, take the Anamizu-Wajima Line bus to Wajima Station and transfer to the Machino Line before alighting at Shirayone Senmaida.

    Shiroyone Senmaida (A Thousand Rice Paddies in Shiroyone)
    place
    Ishikawa Pref. Wajimashi Shiroyonemachi
    phone
    0768341004
    opening-hour
    8:30-17:00* Until 20:00 duri…
  • 05

    Maruyama Senmaida, Mie Prefecture

    Maruyama Senmaida, Mie Prefecture

    Maruyama Senmaida, Mie Prefecture

    Running layered up the mountainside west of Kumano city in Mie Prefecture sits Maruyama Senmaida, a stunning piece of man-made agricultural landscaping. The terrace was constructed over 400 years ago and has stood the test of time to remain one of the prefecture's most beautiful landscapes. Because of its unique shape, many of the small fields here vary in size quite wildly with some fields just a meter wide; this means they must be tended to rather painstakingly by hand. If you’re taking the hike along the Iseji Route of the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage to Kumano Hongu-Taisha Shrine, keep a lookout for this magnificent view.

    Maruyama Senmaida, Mie Prefecture

    Maruyama Senmaida, Mie Prefecture

    [Access]
    A 30-minute drive from Kumanoshi Staion

    Maruyama Senmaida
    place
    Mie Pref. Kumanoshi Kiwachoumaruyama
    opening-hour
    Free walking
  • 06

    Hachiune no Tanada, Kochi Prefecture

    Hachiune no Tanada

    Hachiune no Tanada

    Hachiune no Tanada in Otoyo-cho is a unique site featuring a miniature Shinto shrine in the middle of its rice terraces. When you walk along the path, you will find the Akiba Shrine and its 500-year-old Ginkgo tree . This shrine also offers an expansive view of the rice paddies surrounded by a peaceful mountain range. If you visit in June, the striking contrast between purple hydrangea flowers and lush green rice fields will dazzle your eyes. Otoyo-cho boasts a few more rice terraces due to its mountainous nature, such as Nuta no Tanada and Ananai no Tanada.

    [Access]
    A 15-minute drive from Toyonaga Station

    Yone no Tanada
    place
    Kochi Nagaoka-gun Otoyo Cho Yone
  • 07

    Hamanoura Rice Terraces, Saga Prefecture

    Hamanoura Rice Terraces, Saga Prefecture

    Hamanoura Rice Terraces, Saga Prefecture

    Home to another stunning natural light show are the fields of Hamanoura rice terraces in Saga Prefecture. Flanked by valley walls, and facing out to the Genkai sea, these fields are tucked cozily between the neighboring mountains. It’s impressive any time of day, but especially so in the evening. As the sun sets over the ocean backdrop, it casts a purple-pink light that reflects off the sea and bounces along the waterlogged rice terraces, creating a mosaic-style illusion that’s truly magnificent.

    Hamanoura Rice Terraces, Saga Prefecture

    Hamanoura Rice Terraces, Saga Prefecture

    [Access]
    A 30-minute drive from Karatsu Station

    Terraced Rice Fields of Hamanoura
    place
    Saga Pref. Higashimatsuragungenkaichou Hamanoura
    phone
    0955522112
    opening-hour
    Freedom to see
  • 08

    Hirado Kasuga no Tanada, Nagasaki Prefecture

    Hirado Kasuga no Tanada, Nagasaki Prefecture

    Hirado Kasuga no Tanada, Nagasaki Prefecture

    Kasuga is a stunning agricultural village located along the west coast of Hirado, a smattering of scenic islands that make up part of Nagasaki Prefecture. Practically untouched by tourism, it’s a well-kept secret, one you’ll want to share, but only with those you know will respect its historical beauty and rich spiritual legacy. During the times of Portuguese trade, this area was predominantly home to communities of the hidden Christians of Nagasaki, which is why it’s still known as the “Holy Land of Hirado.” Constructed with a thorough understanding of the landscape and a deep appreciation for nature these picturesque terraced fields have remained the same for the past 400 years. To learn more about the site pop by the visitor center nearby. Hirado may not be the most accessible area of Japan, but once you get there, you’ll agree it’s worth the extra effort.

    [Access]
    A 45-minute drive from Hirato Ohashi bridge

    Kasuga Hamlet
    place
    Nagasaki Hirado-shi Kasugacho
    phone
    0950224111
  • 09

    Ogi Tanada, Kumamoto Prefecture

    Ogi Tanada

    Ogi Tanada

    Situated at the foot of the Kuju Mountains, Ogi Tanada in the village of Ubuyama is renowned for its sector form fields. There are 17 layers of rice paddies , which are accented by three cedar trees standing side by side. While accessing this area requires a short drive on an unpaved road, the idyllic landscape never disappoints. If you visit in early May (which is before the rice planting season), you can enjoy the blue skies beautifully reflected on the surface of the water-covered rice fields. You can also see free-range cattle happily grazing.

    Ogi Tanada

    Ogi Tanada

    [Access]
    A 30-minute drive from Miyaji Station

    Ogi Tanada
    place
    Kumamoto Aso-gun Ubuyamamura Tajiri

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