Vegetarian's Japan Guide

A Guide to the Amazing Inakadate Village Rice Field Art

When we first saw a picture of the rice field art (or rice paddy art), we thought, “ah, who destroyed the rice field by putting paint on those poor plants…”. And then, when we were told the drawings were formed by planting various types of rice to create different colors at different spots of the field, we were just so astonished that all we could think of for a few seconds was, “oh my god!”.

© Aomori Prefecture

Inakadate Village in Hirakawa City in Aomori Prefecture is where the first rice field art was born (田舎館村田んぼアート). Although now you can find this type of art across Japan, the village is still proud of its know-how and measurement techniques cultivated over many years. The rice field art that they can draw is a lot more delicate.

The Two Venues of Rice Field Art

On the last Sunday of May each year, a rice planting event/experience is held.

If you are interested in experiencing how it is done in an old-fashioned way, keep an eye on this article as we will update it with more information for the 2023’s event!

© Aomori Prefecture

In Inakadate Village, there are two rice field art venues:

  • Inakadate Village Rice Field Art First Venue (田舎館村田んぼアート 第1会場)
  • Inakadate Village Rice Field Art Second Venue (田舎館村田んぼアート 第2会場

The artworks can be seen from the beginning of July to the beginning of October each year.

  • It is the most colorful from mid-July to mid-August.
  • From late August, the color of the field will start to turn brown as the rice is getting ready to be harvested.
  • The rice harvesting experience is held on the last Sunday of September. Even after the harvest, the art can still be clearly seen (but only in two colors).

Inakadate Village Rice Field Art First Venue (田舎館村田んぼアート 第1会場)

To have a complete view of the art of the first venue, you can go to the viewing deck at Inakadate Village Hall’s (田舎館村役場) 4th floor or the corridor part of the castle tower on the 6th floor (and yes, the village hall has a castle tower as part of the building).

Tip: The waiting time to get to the viewing deck can be more than an hour on a busy day. So if you can, arrive early.

Inakadate Village Rice Field Art First Venue’s Admission Fee, Access Information, and Opening Hours

  • The admission fee is payable on the 4th floor of Inakadate Village Hall.
    • 300 yen for adults
    • 100 yen for elementary school students
    • The fee allows you to enter the viewing deck only.
  • An extra fee will be charged if you want to enter the castle tower
    • 200 yen
    • 100 yen for elementary school students
  • The viewing deck and castle tower are usually open from 9 am to 5 pm daily
    • The last admission is at 4:30 pm
  • Between the 13th of July to the 30th of August, the opening hours are extended to 8:30 am to 6 pm
    • The last admission at 5:30 pm

Tip: If you don’t want to pay to get to the viewing deck, come after the last Sunday of September after the rice has been harvested (but you can’t access the castle tower).

  • To get to the first venue, take Kōnan Bus route no. 11 from Hirosaki Bus Terminal’s (弘前バスタミナール) or bus stop no. 2 from Hirosaki Station’s (弘前駅) bus stop no. 5 and get off at Hatanaka (畑中)
    • The journey takes around 24 minutes.
  • If you have just finished exploring Kuroishi, you can take the same bus from Kuroishi Station (黒石駅) and get off at Hatanaka as well.
    • HERE is the service’s abbreviated timetable that you can refer to for the bus’s departure time from Kuroishi Station or Hirosaki Bus Terminal. You can translate the webpage to English by using Google Chrome’s translation function at the address bar

Click HERE to get back to a list of attractions in Hirakawa City.

Inakadate Village Rice Field Art Second Venue (田舎館村田んぼアート 第2会場

The second venue is within a 10-minute drive from the first venue. What is worthwhile to mention is: that at the second venue, apart from the rice field art, there is also “stone art” next to the rice field. So instead of making a drawing with rice, it is a drawing made of stones of various colors. Compared to rice field art, stone art has a higher reputation here (^_-)-☆.

You can also get a panorama view of the rice field art from Yayoinosato Observatory (弥生の里展望所) nearby.

  • The admission fee is
    • 300 yen for adults
    • 100 yen for elementary school students
  • The observatory is usually open from
    • 9 am to 5 pm daily
    • The last admission is at 4:30 pm
  • Between the 13th of July to the 30th of August, the opening hours are extended to 8:30 am to 6 pm
    • The last admission is at 5:30 pm

Although there won’t be any rice field art on the field from late April to early May, there is stone art with pink cherry blossom flowers blooming if you are interested.

How to Get to Inakadate Village Rice Field Art Second Venue

  • Free shuttle buses run between the two venues every 30 minutes from 9 am to 5 pm.
  • Since the 2nd venue is only within a 2-minute walk from Kōnan Railway Company’s (弘南鉄道) Tembo Art Station (田んぼアート駅), after you have your fill of the rice field art, you can take a train back to Hirosaki (or anywhere you want to head to).

Discover Other Interesting Attractions in Hirakawa City

Ikarigaseki-Onsekisho-Hirakawa-Aomori-Japan
Click the photo to find out more about this fascinating attraction!

Seeing the rice field is surely not the only reason that you stop by Hirakawa City. But if you are unsure where else to head to, refer to our article on Hirakawa City for more ideas!

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