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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. Oyama Senmaida, Chiba Prefecture 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 [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. Obasute no Tanada, Nagano Prefecture 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 [Access]A 10-minute walk from Obasute Station (JR Shinooi Line) Hoshitoge no Tnanada, Niigata Prefecture 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) Shiroyone Senmaida, Ishikawa Prefecture 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 [Access]From Anamizu Station, take the Anamizu-Wajima Line bus to Wajima Station and transfer to the Machino Line before alighting at Shirayone Senmaida. 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 [Access]A 30-minute drive from Kumanoshi Staion 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. Shiroyone Senmaida, Ishikawa Prefecture Shiroyone Senmaida, Ishikawa Prefecture With its rugged, untamed beauty, Noto peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture is an excellent destination for those who want to experience a wilder side of Japan. With the sprawling Chirihama Beach and strange rock formations of the Kongo Coast there’s no shortage of natural attractions to admire. One place that should be atop your itinerary is Shiroyone Senmaida, the 1,000 rows of rice terraces that layer up from the sea to the roadside. Strategically positioned to soak up the ocean mist, these lush green fields are stunning all year round, but especially so in spring when the warm sunset reflects off the watersoaked fields casting a vibrant natural light show. Hachiune no Tanada, Kochi Prefecture 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 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 [Access]A 30-minute drive from Karatsu Station Ogi Tanada, Kumamoto Prefecture 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 [Access]A 30-minute drive from Miyaji Station ©NAVITIME JAPAN. Travel Info Check out our travel tips to make your trip better!
- 9. January. 2019
Guide to Niigata
- Found along the northwestern coast of Japan, Niigata Prefecture is celebrated for its high quality rice and breathtaking nature, most notably its spectacular mountains whose white peaks draw in snow sports lovers from far and wide over the winter months. VIDEO ―Captured by Niigata― AREAS Niigata CityThe port city of Niigata is one of the largest and most visitor-friendly cities along Japan’s northwestern coast, home to bustling fish markets, culture-filled museums, and a host of eateries and bars to savour the rice-based delicacies of the prefecture.NagaokaFor those planning a snow-free trip to Niigata Prefecture, Nagaoka offers cherry blossom trees in their thousands, summer fireworks festivals, and a host of cultural activities all year round.JoetsuHistory buffs should make a beeline for Joetsu in the south of the prefecture where you can explore castle ruins atop the towering Mt. Kasuga and learn about the area’s role in WWII at the Peace Memorial Park and its adjoining museum.Sado IslandA 2.5-hour ferry trip west of Niigata City lies the mystical island of Sado where visitors can enjoy the laid back island life on a recce around the rocky coastlines followed by a journey back to the Edo period down the Kinzan Gold Mine.YuzawaAs winter arrives Yuzawa starts filling up with snow sport enthusiasts who rush to the slopes for some of the best snow Japan has to offer, including at the renowned Naeba Ski Resort, before heading to the plentiful natural hot springs in the area. HOW TO GET THERE Unless you’re sticking to local trains and buses, Niigata City will be your first destination as the most accessible city in the prefecture by public transport. The Joetsu Shinkansen offers the simplest route into Niigata Prefecture, taking passengers directly from Tokyo to Niigata Station in just two hours. Those travelling from further afield can fly to Niigata Airport which is located just 40 minutes from the city centre.Planning on travelling to other parts of the prefecture? Niigata City is well-connected with JR trains, local trains, and buses providing numerous options for discovering everything that Niigata has to offer. SIGHTS/THINGS TO DO Mt. NaebaStraddling Niigata and Nagano prefectures at the very edge of the Japanese Alps, Mt. Naeba is home to four ski resorts including the likes of the prestigious Naeba Ski Resort and Kagura Ski Resort. While most certainly not the only ski slopes in the region, the ski resorts atop Mt. Naeba offer some of the most exciting slopes around.Oze National ParkComprising hills, marshlands, flora, and fauna, Oze National Park is a hiker’s paradise best visited in the warmer months when the white skunk cabbages bloom celestially across the landscape.Yahiko ShrineYahiko Shrine is a 1,300-year-old Shinto shrine whose impressive structure of wood and gold is a sight to see against a backdrop of fantastic green, found at the base of Mt. Yahiko in the west of Niigata Prefecture.Sado Kinzan Gold MineIf there’s any reason to take a trip to Sado Island it’s for the Sado Kinzan Gold Mine where visitors can take a tour of the centuries old mines fitted out with wax models before visiting the informative museum.Fuji Rock FestivalJapan’s biggest music festivalーin both size and reputationーFuji Rock takes place at Naeba Ski Resort over three days in July every year attracting big names from home and further afield. SPECIALITIES RiceIt is said that the weather conditions in Niigata Prefecture are to thank for the unrivalled quality of rice produced in the prefecture. Don’t miss the opportunity to put “Japan’s best rice” to the taste test, whether it’s covered with fresh fish or brewed into delicious sake.SakeWith good rice comes good sake and there is no shortage of tasting opportunities around Niigata Prefecture: specialist sake bars, up to 100 sake breweries, and even a sake museum, Ponshukan, where sampling is an essential part of the trip.Noppei jiruPerfect for a detox after too much sake and fried food, noppei jiru is an affordable and wholesome soup made up of delicious veggies and filling chunks of meat or fish.Sasa dangoSasa dango is the ubiquitous sweet treat of Niigata Prefecture, made up of a vibrant purple sweet adzuki bean centre enveloped by a fragrant green mochi rice layer, and finally wrapped in a bamboo leaf.Hegi sobaTraditionally served in a wooden box known as a hegi, the secret behind the unique taste and texture of these soba noodles is the funori seaweed which produces slippery, al dente noodles perfectly complemented by a dipping sauce. More information ・NIIGATA,JAPAN OFFICIAL TRAVEL GUIDE Enjoy Niigata ©NAVITIME JAPAN. Travel Info Check out our travel tips to make your trip better!
- 4. October. 2018
- Hakkaisanson Shrine
- Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumashi Osaki 3746
- Tochiomata Onsen Yakushido
- Nigata Pref. Uonumashi Yunoya Kami Origami 66
- Midama Fudoson Temple
- Nigata Pref. Nakauonumaguntsunanmachi Akinari 9761
- Urasa Bishamondo Temple
- Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumashi Urasa 2495
Last year, my family visited one of the most impressive events in Japan - Naked Men festival. It is held annually on March 3th at this temple. The participants need to wear loincloths in this event...
- Statue of Oze Saburo
- Other Historic Site/Building
- Niigata Uonuma-shi Utsuno
Found along the northwestern coast of Japan, Niigata prefecture is celebrated for its high-quality rice and breathtaking nature, most notably its spectacular mountains, whose white peaks draw in snow sports lovers from far and wide over the winter months. Hit the slopes at Yuzawa, pick out your favourite modern artist at Echigo Tsumari, or take a ferry over to Sado Island for an extra adventure.
Best of Niigata
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