The original Japanese landscape and rice


This may be a sudden question, but have you seen a rice field recently?

If you live near Tokyo, you may not have many opportunities to attend.

We, the organic shop "GIFT & CRAFT Mita" in Minato Ward,

It has been reborn as "Rice Dreaming GIFT&CRAFT Mita" and will continue to revitalize Japan through rice.

The magazine will provide interesting information, mainly about rice, as well as wonderful seasonal products.

So, this time I will introduce the original landscape of rice fields in Japan.

We will inform you about the role and current situation.

・The original Japanese landscape with rice fields

Seeing the rice fields and the natural beauty of Japan is very calming.

Going on trips to the countryside, going back to my hometown, watching videos.


It's like a scene you might see in the anime My Neighbor Totoro or Japanese Folk Tales.

However, these are not just fairy tales or travel destinations, but landscapes that can actually be seen all over Japan.


Fluctuations in rice demand and production seem to affect Japan's important landscapes as well.


Did you know that the number of rice fields in Japan is decreasing year by year?

For example, we rarely see the moment when rice fields are filled in and buildings are built. Many people may not really feel that the amount of land is decreasing.

According to data from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Bureau of Industrial and Labor Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries,


In 1956, the area was 3.32 million hectares.

By 2020, this had fallen to 2.379 million hectares.


The decrease in rice field area in Tokyo is particularly notable.

As shown in the figure below, in 1975 there was 1,352 hectares,

As of 2008, the area had decreased to 303 hectares.

This is actually less than 23% of the area it was in 1975.

Source: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries "Statistics on cultivated land and planted area"

Kanto Regional Agricultural Administration Office "55th Tokyo Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Statistical Annual Report"



Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of Industrial and Labor Affairs Farmland and Agricultural Workers


・Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries: Cultivated land area in 2020 (as of July 15)

303 hectares is equivalent to approximately 65 Tokyo Domes.

It may seem like a lot, but also like a little, but how many will there be left in 100 years?


I don't know if I'll be able to increase the number of rice fields in the future,

At the very least, I want to protect the beautiful scenery that exists now.

・Three rice field landscapes


Now that we've introduced the current situation, we'd like to introduce three beautiful rice field landscapes in Japan.

1. Shirakawa-go

First up is Shirakawa-go, a World Heritage Site.

The entire region seems to treasure the original Japanese landscape and the life there.

2. Rice terraces

These are the Doyatanada rice terraces in Matsuura City, Nagasaki Prefecture.


Rice terraces are a very effective method of farming in Japan, a country with many mountains and slopes and where level land suitable for rice cultivation is limited.


This is the wisdom of our ancestors, who devised a way to plant rice effectively even in a small area where planting one field at a time would be possible.
It's efficient and at the same time very scenic.


As an aside, they are called "rice terraces" in English.

It all sounds a bit stylish now.


3. Rice field art

Image source: Inakadate Village Rice Field Art Official Site

( )


The last one is a unique rice field art, which is different from the original landscape.
The village of Inakadate in Aomori Prefecture implemented this as a village revitalization initiative, and it has become famous nationwide.

You can see the effort and love of the local people.


It's wonderful that even today people are making efforts like this to promote the beauty of rice fields and rural areas.


This time we have introduced three carefully selected places, but there are many more beautiful landscapes to see in Japan.

We will post pictures of beautiful rice farming scenes on another occasion.

・The role of rice fields: Eco-cycle


Rice fields are not just for producing rice, they also function as an eco-cycle.

They play an essential role as part of the natural environment.


The rice fields are filled with water, and there are tadpoles and frogs in them, with dragonflies flying around. It's easy to imagine it as a home for many different creatures.

If the rice fields disappeared, how would these creatures survive?

"Rice fields can store water and adjust the amount of water, so they function like dams to prevent flooding, and they also play a role in creating an environment in which a diverse range of living things can live."


-Quote: Shinmei Co., Ltd. Beautiful Country, Beautiful Rice

( )


As mentioned above, it has the role of preventing floods like a dam,

The soil layer of the rice paddies filters the water and also plays a role in cultivating clean groundwater.


Not only do they provide us with delicious rice through their rice cultivation,

Rice fields are a part of the eco-cycle and give back to nature. Let's take good care of them.



So far, we have talked about the beauty of Japan's original landscape and the important role that rice fields play in the natural world.


In order to protect these precious landscapes, it would be great if we could do something to support them in our daily lives, starting with small things close to us.


At Kome Dreaming, we provide rice in a way that makes it more accessible.

Starting with the gluten-free rice flour donuts that are a big hit at events,

They sell rice-based snacks, skin care products, cosmetics, miscellaneous goods, and more.


There are even products that use rice as an ingredient, so please check them out in stores or on the online store.


I would be very happy if I could help to live your vibrant lives and make Japan a little more lively.