Tanada are paddy fields on the slopes of hills or in gorges. It is characterised by steep slopes on which a small patch of arable land is present. It resembles a flight of stairs containing paddy fields. Generally every 20 metres of paddy field is followed by a 1 metre high slope on which another 20 metres of paddy field is present.
In olden times, Tanada used to be a common sight in the mountain villages of Japan. However, due to the intense manual labour required and the declining population of farmers, the number of Tanada have been on the decline. In recent years, Japan has begun to reevaluate Tanada and as a result, conservation efforts are underway.
Japan has four seasons and the appearance of the Tanada also changes with the seasons. In spring (in May) the rice seedlings are planted, hence the Tanada resemble ponds in spring. In summer it looks completely green as the seedlings become fully grown rice plants. While in autumn everything is golden as the rice plants produce ears of rice. After harvest, the rice is sundried.
On the pathways between the paddy fields, colourful flowers are planted on a seasonal basis. This provides a nice contrast to the colour of the sky and forests. The changing scenery assures that you will not get bored of Tanada throughout the year. We recommend visiting the same Tanada during different seasons of the year!
They also differ based on area. For instance, in western Japan, the slopes are made of stone while in eastern Japan they are made of earth. There are those that sit silently in valleys and mountains, others overlook the sea invoking a feeling of freedom. There are even those which can be seen from Mt. Fuji. In certain regions events are held where Tanada is illuminated. Furthermore, the variety of life associated with Tanada adds an extra flavour. Even the variety of life one can see in Tanada is subject to seasonal changes. One can hear the chorus of frogs in spring. Fireflies put up a beautiful light show in summer. In autumn you can witness a carnival of dragonflies. One can even find many endangered species of plants and animals living among the Tanada, so we recommend bringing along binoculars and/or magnifying glasses.
For those of you who love serene places, please try visiting Tanada!
◎Represented sightseeing Tanada areas in Japan
Adress 99-5,Shiroyone-cho, Wajima city, Ishiawa pref.
More information is HERE
Adress 78, Kiwa-cho,Kumano city,Mie Pref.
Access JR Tokyo Sta./ JR Osaka Sta.(Nozomi or Hikari Shinkansen)—JR Nagoya Sta.(Wide viw Nanki Train, take time 3hours)—Kumano Sta. (take a Taxi 40min)—Maruyama senmaida
Adress 540, Hiratsuka,Kamogawa city, Chiba Pref.
Access JR Tokyo Sta.Keiyo line(Wakashio Express Train)—JR Awa-Kamogawa Station (east exit bus terminal) from the city bus Hongo Hiratsuka line or Tokyo Bay ferry line–Kamanuma bus stop—A walk 20min