You didn’t know rice tourism existed — until now.
Picturesque Shiroyone Senmaida has enchanted many of its visitors with its more-than 1,000 rice paddies that descend to the sea. The year-round gem is one of the best sightseeing spots in Ishikawa Prefecture.
It’s included in Japan’s Top 100 Rice Terraces and it was also chosen as a “Special Place of Scenic Beauty.” These recognitions do not only bring pride to Wajima City, where it’s located, but also entice tourists to travel all the way to the northern part of the Noto Peninsula.
In 2011, the area was included given a special status by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in order to help preserve and support its traditional ways of cultivation. And the great news is, you can take part in this local culture while visiting.
Farming machinery is a bit difficult to use in these small, intricate paddies, so the planting and harvesting of rice is done manually by locals and even volunteers. If you want to take part on this activity, it’s best to visit Shiroyone around mid-May or from the end of September to early October.
When to see it
Choosing the perfect time to visit to Shiroyone Senmaida shouldn’t be much of a challenge as it offers outstanding scenery throughout the year.
In April to July, visitors can witness the beautiful sunset of Senmaida create a tantalizing reflection onto the blue coast, as well as to the rice paddies. In August to September; its green scenery turns golden, finally signaling the farmers to reap their fruits of labour.
As the crop season ends, Wajima City then prepares 21,000 solar LED lights for illuminating its terraces, creating a colorful galaxy-like backdrop each night that lasts until mid-March. Many local volunteers help make this event possible each year.
Round out your visit by checking out the omiyage shop where visitors can also park (if needed) and view the scenic spot. Get a taste of local life and gorgeous scenery with a visit to Ishikawa.
Discover the hidden gems of all 47 prefectures in Japan.