Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Rice Harvest

Ishikawa Prefecture in Japan (where my wife’s family lives) is a rice growing region that has recently been designated as an Agricultural Heritage area because of its traditional methods of growing and harvesting rice, much of which is still done by hand. Most of it is grown on the valley plains but sometimes you can see rice paddys carved into hillsides, none so famous as this site known as 'Sen Maida' which translates as 'a thousand paddys' which we visited in Wajima.

I found my first visit to a genuine rice paddy 18 years ago to be a fascinating experience. On this recent visit I witnessed for the first time, the rice actually being harvested...

...and then hung out to dry on huge drying frames.

Those who truly appreciate quality rice believe these old natural methods are the best for preserving the natural flavour and goodness of the rice.

That probably explains why some of Japan’s best Sake (rice wine) is produced in the Ishikawa region. There are some 36 Sake-making companies in Ishikawa, most of which have been handed down through several generations, the oldest of which dates back to 1716.


  1. When I saw the title I thought you must've grown some rice in your garden.

  2. P.S. I've gone back to my old site now

  3. I wondered if anyone would think that. No, I just thought I would do a few posts with a Japanese theme to keep the blog interesting. I have a couple more posts in mind to do.

    Thankfully, my wife hasn't asked me to grow rice yet. You need quite a bit of space to grow a reasonable amount and irrigation is a key factor as they need quite a bit of water, even to the point of being completely submerged in it.