Hokkaido’s Harvest Scenery: Autumn Edition
Hokkaido is known as Japan's food base, and is a treasure trove of a wide variety of foods, such as agricultural and livestock products, seafood, wine, sake and beer.
Autumn – from September to November – is the harvest season for fruits, potatoes and other root vegetables, rice, buckwheat and the like. It is also when marine products such as salmon and Pacific saury are landed.
We have gathered together some ‘taste of autumn’ harvest scenery, much anticipated by the people of Hokkaido.
Harvesting of rice-paddy art
‘Rice-paddy art’ is a huge picture created using six types of colored rice plants, with the rice paddy as a canvas. Members of the executive committee, made up of individuals from the Young Farmers Division of the Taisetsu Agricultural Cooperative and the like, produced the rice paddies in the Higashitakasu 7-sen 18 district of the city of Asahikawa, and the rice harvesting was held on October 12th to conclude this season’s activities.
This year, efforts were made to prevent the further spread of Coronavirus infections as the observatory was opened to the public for the first time in two years. Since the rice was planted in mid-June, the giant picture has changed from vivid greens to the golden colors of autumn, delighting many visitors, especially during the peak viewing season in summer.
Fifteen members of the executive committee took part in the harvest. The rice that had grown in the paddy, which measures approximately 40 meters by 170 meters, took approximately two hours to reap using a combine harvester and hand-held scythes, bringing an end to the role of the design, which depicted the characters of Asahikawa City and Takasu Town handing over a baton.
The theme of this year’s rice-paddy art was ‘linking to the future’. “I hope that next year – the 17th year – too, we can create a design that gives us hope for the future,” said Mr. Hashimoto, head of the Young Farmers Division.