食・グルメ  自然・風景・景色  

Takachiho Slow Life Vol. 1: Rice cultivation nurtured with nature in Takachiho

Takachiho is a town surrounded by mountains and rich in nature.

The lifestyle lived by the people who live with the richness of nature, is the very essence of a slow life.

They live in harmony with nature and in a carefully leisured pace. This month’s slow life article introduces rice cultivation, a way of life in Takachiho.

 

Terraced rice fields, water, landscape and ..

The mountainous Takachiho has terraced rice fields that make use of the terrain.

The terraced rice fields of Takachiho, selected as part of the 100 best terraced rice fields in Japan, not only produce delicious rice, but also showcased in their beauty every season.

Clear fresh water is essential for producing delicious rice.

The spring water that flows down from within the deep mountains has been carefully protected by the people of Takachiho.

In the river that runs through the town, rocks with sacred ropes called shimenawa attached to them can be seen everywhere. The scenery shows the love for nature’s bounty, which has been passed down from generation to generation.

There are waterwheel huts along the river. In the past, people used the power of the waterwheel to grind flour and wash vegetables.

Just looking at the waterwheel huts that still remain, time seems to flow more slowly.

Attached to the hat of a working farmer is a jumbo firefly. It seems that wearing it, bees and horseflies stay away due to fear. A natural insect repellent that uses the workings of nature – interesting right?

 

Autumn harvest and drying the rice

After the hot summer, Cosmos and Red sprider lilies bloom along the terraced rice fields and the landscape of Takachiho changes to autumn.

The rice fields planted with seedlings in spring became all green during the summer and has now turned golden.

The sight of the rice plants hanging down full of new grown rice reminds us that autumn has surely arrived.

A relaxing trip to Takachiho during this season is also recommended!

In Takachiho, rice harvesting is called ‘komekari’.

Rice picking is a major event for rice farmers in which children also help out. It is an opportunity for the whole community to come together as one and for the whole family to participate in the rice picking, thereby deepening the family and community ties.

In Takachiho, the traditional “kakeboshi” drying method is still practiced.

The harvested rice plants are bundled and hung in an airy place, exposed to sunlight and wind, in order to wait for them to dry completely. This careful process, which can take several weeks or months, is said to result in delicious rice.

 

Takachiho Kagura, pray and dance for a bountiful harvest

After the rice picking season, each village in Takachiho performs Kagura (Shinto music and dance) to pray for a good harvest.

From the middle of November until early February each year, the 19 villages in the town welcomes the local gods to their homes and other places of worship and dedicate 33 kagura dances to the gods in thanksgiving for a good autumn harvest and to pray for a bountiful harvest in the upcoming year.

The kagura dedicated in each village is collectively called Takachiho Kagura and is designated as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Asset of Japan.

You can also enjoy ‘Takachiho night kagura’ outside of the normal night kagura seasons mentioned above.

Four representative kagura dances from the 33 kagura dances are performed for one hour every evening from 20:00 at the Kagura hall on the precincts of Takachiho Shrine. The authentic dances, dedicated in turns by kagura dancers from each village, are very popular, and many guests stay overnight to watch them.

Be sure to see the ‘Takachiho night kagura’, which is designated as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Asset of Japan.

For more information on Takachiho night kagura, click here!

 

Conclusion

What did you think of the rice cultivation in Takachiho?

Kakeboshi rice, grown in terraced rice fields in the mountains and produced with great care and time, is full of the deliciousness of nature’s bounty.

It can be purchased at Michi-no-Eki Takachiho and local product stores such as Kihachi-no-Kura at the Gamadase Market. It is also available via the hometown tax system, so please try it for yourself♬

関連の記事

コンシェルジュからのおすすめ

お客様のご要望に沿ったおすすめの観光情報・宿(ホテル 旅館)・レストラン・居酒屋・カフェ・ショップ等をコンシェルジュスタッフが厳選してご紹介しております。

たかがお土産、されどお土産!職場で配る好印象な高千穂町お土産5選。
高千穂町の桁違いの最強パワースポット!天岩戸の歩き方完全版。
女子旅におすすめ♡高千穂町の映えるおしゃれランチ5選!