Interaction opportunities for people from urban areas

Enjoying Japan’s rural areas
– Terraced rice fields owner experience project

Due to the declining birthrate and the ageing population in the area, it is getting more difficult to care for the Sakaori terraced rice fields. However, we are very keen to pass on the traditional way of life of the Sakaori terraced rice fields to future generations. In 2006, we started the “Terraced rice fields owner system”. This project helps protect the landscape of the terraced rice fields and at the same time, allows people living in urban areas to come and experience life in the countryside and interact with the local people in the area. Every year, many people come and enjoy rice planting and rice harvesting with us. Some previous participants have enjoyed the experience so much that they moved their families to live in the area.


Recruiting participants for the terraced rice fields owner experience project

Experience period: Every year, from May to October
Experience content: Three farming experiences – rice planting, grass cutting and weeding and rice harvest. You can also participate in the harvest festival.
Annual membership fee: 35,000 yen per rice field (each rice field is approximately 100 square meters.
Benefits: 30kg of harvested Sakaori Tanada rice; other seasonal agricultural products
Recruitment for participants is announced in January each year on this website.


Harvest festival – opportunity for the terraced rice fields owners and local residents to mix.

Every year in October, we have the harvest festival at the Sakaori terraced rice fields area. You can enjoy the wonderful tastes of local cuisine and experience traditional Japanese events.



Sakaori terraced rice fields guided walk


A local expert will guide through the area and explain about the landscape features, terrace masonry construction, irrigation channels as well as the history and culture of the area.



The festival of the God of the rice fields (who protects the rice fields)

This festival is held in June, every year and viewing is free. At this festival, we pray for a good harvest from the god of the rice fields and we also thank our predecessors for their knowledge and wisdom. Many candles are lit along the narrow passages between the rice fields, creating a beautiful, fantasy-like landscape. In 2013, we also started the Lantern procession through the fields. Participants carry paper lanterns and walk through the fields.
This festival is very well-known and many people come from not only the surrounding area, but also more urban areas as well. This festival helps create bonds throughout the surrounding area.



Terraced rice fields illumination


This is an event that takes place in the winter, after the rice has been harvested. Every year, from late October to early March, about 1800 LED lights are installed by the terraced rice fields owners and other volunteers, along the narrow passages between the rice fields. We want to show and express the beauty of the terraced rice fields through the brightness of the LED lights.


Terraced rice fields photograph contest

The main aim of this contest is to conserve the beauty of Sakaori terraced rice fields and the surrounding area through photography.
The award-winning photographs will appear in the Sakaori terraced rice fields calendar, which can be purchased at the Sakaori Ochabandokoro.


Everyone may enter the contest
General section: Photographs should be A4 size
Snap picture section: Photographs should be L (89mm × 127mm) or LL size (127mm ×178mm)
Theme: This changes each year
Contest announcement: Details are announced on this website