Japan's Terraced Rice Fields Will Take Your Breath Away

Japan's staple food, rice, is grown in paddy fields. Because Japan is 80% mountainous regions, the water-filled paddy fields stretch into the mountains. If you see them in person, you'll be touched by the skills handed down from time immemorial.


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A terraced rice field commanding a view of the sea in the setting sun


From April to May, the paddies are full of water and the rice seedlings are planted.
The sky reflected in the water makes the paddies even more enchantingly beautiful.

What are terraced rice fields?

In agriculture, a terrace is a piece of sloped plane that has been cut into a series of successively receding flat surfaces or platforms, which resemble steps, for the purposes of more effective farming. This type of landscaping, therefore, is called terracing. Graduated terrace steps are commonly used to farm on hilly or mountainous terrain. Terraced fields both decrease erosion andsurface runoff, and may be used to support growing crops that require irrigation, such as rice.


Judging fom the production efficacy, there are no other agricultural processes that compare to the terraced rice fields. The beauty of the terraced fields' scenery is also maintained.
If you go to any mountainous region all around Japan, you can see rice paddies of all sizes.

Check these out! Terraced fields with superb views

Ooyama Senmaida (Kamogawa, Chiba)


Ooyama Senmaida is a terraced field 2 hours away from Tokyo by bus or 40 minutes away by car.
Because they're still fields, there are various agricultural programs where people who would like to experience working in paddy fields can maintain the area throughout the year.
In the winter, there is an event where the field is lit by hanging lanterns that's also a must-see.

Ueyama no Tanada (Ojiroku Nukida, Hyogo)


There are about 40 of these beautifully curved paddy fields creating a gorgeous open outlook. Since it's about 500m above sea level, even in late April it's an area where there's still snow on the ground.

Hamanoura no Tanada (Genkai, Saga)


To say the least about these fields, they command an excellent view of the ocean. The sight of the sun setting into the heart of the fields is a sight that will remain in your memory. It's best to go in April or May in order to see the reflection of the sun in the water.

Warabi no Tanada (Karatsu, Saga)


There are over 1000 paddies spread out over 40 hectares in Warabi, which is right next to Imari, a city famous for its pottery.

Warabi's rice fields are piled on stone walls that are around 8.5 meters tall! You'll be surprised by the craftsmanship used in making these walls.

What's the best season to visit the rice fields?

If you want to go see the rice fields, the best time to go is between May and September. The rice plants are harvested after October!

Spring rice fields (April-May)


The rice fields are flooded and the seedlings are planted. In the spring, you can see the beautiful reflection of the sky!

Summer rice fields (July-August)


The rice fields have begun to get big, and the scenery brimming with green is lovely. Japan's summers are hot and humid so be careful of the heat.

Autumnal rice paddies (after harvest)


For a while after the rice is harvested, it's dried in the middle of the fields. You can say that this sight is also a way to feel the change of seasons.

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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