Most Beautiful Rice Field Terraces in Japan
The beauty of Senmaida
Traditional Farming & Harmony with Nature
Senmaida is a term used in Japan to refer to terraced rice paddies that are small in size and located on steep slopes. The word “senmaida” literally means “a thousand rice paddies” but it is often used to refer to any small-scale rice terrace or “Tanada”.
They are an important part of Japanese cultural heritage and landscape. The terraces are built using traditional farming techniques that have been passed down through generations, and they are designed to maximize the use of limited arable land. These Tanada are often located in rural areas, and their picturesque beauty has made them popular tourist destinations in recent years.
Senmaida has also become a symbol of Japan’s efforts to preserve its agricultural traditions and to promote sustainable agriculture. Many senmaida are now protected as cultural heritage sites, and various organizations are working to ensure their preservation and promote the continued use of traditional farming practices.
The best time to visit is definitely sunset time in mid-April to mid May when water is filled up. AND the most spectacular times to see Sanmaida at night is from mid-October to mid-March.
Maruyama Senmaida, Mie (cover photo) – one of the most beautiful and biggest rice terraces in Japan with 1340 paddies.
Hamanoura Senmaida, Saga – The best time to visit it is definitely at sunset time when the rice fields are tinted with the sun goes down over the ocean.
Shiroyone Senmaida, Ishikawa – During the annual light-up festival Aze no Kirameki (Oct. to Mar.), when the slope that faces the sea are illuminated using 25,000 solar-powered LEDs that can be seen up close when walking on the pathway—they will be open to the public for five hours.
Hoshitoge Senmaida, Niigata – Also called “Mizu-kagami” (water mirror) because the water in the rice fields reflects light like a mirror.
Oyama Senmaida, Chiba – The closest rice terrace from Tokyo and the only one that filled up with rainwater.