Case Studies

Inakadate, Aomori Prefecture

Association for Promotion of Inakadate Village Development

Witness Famous Movies and Tezuka Characters at the Birthplace of Rice Paddy Art

  • Sights
  • Model courses
  • 2019
  • 2018

In the Tsugaru dialect, “Tasaabe” means “let’s go to the rice field”. Inakadatemura is the pioneer of rice field art attracting attention around the world. This year, the theme of the first venue is “Oshin”, and the second venue is “let’s go to GalaPico with mother”.

Rice field art has now spread across the country, but it is unusual to use various types of rice with fine designs, repetition, 7 colors and 10 types of rice, and become a bright and dynamic rice field art. The rice planting experience tour in the first venue was held in late May, and about 1300 participants gathered in the village, which has a population of about 8,000. Its high visibility and popularity is known worldwide. A tour of the harvest experience is scheduled to be held on September 29 (Sun.). We are looking forward to your participation in this tour too. The exhibition and viewing period is scheduled to be held until October 6 (Sun.), but the best time to see the most beautiful rice field art is from mid-July to mid-August when the rice plants grow without gaps, and have great color complexity. Although it fades away overall from late August, the change is also the attraction of rice field art. Because it is streamed live on the Internet, please use it for checking the appearance of rice plants changing expressions and the weather according to the season.

The first venue is three kilometers from to the second venue, but during the period, a free shuttle wagon car, Tasaabe (nine-passenger capacity) which connects the two venues is run. Please use it as you move from one place to another. In addition, tourists can view the stone art lamented person, which used rice field art technology implemented since 2015, and two works of Torajiro Kuruma and Misora Hibari and the rice field art in the 2nd venue together. Please also enjoy the winter rice field art, which focuses on the production and exhibition of Snow Art in winter.

Rice paddy art began in 1993 when they drew simple designs and letters using various colors of rice plants and named it “Letters by Rice Plants,” From around since 2003, it became known as “Tanbo Art” and now it is the 26th year. Inakadate is the birthplace of rice paddy art.
Inakadate continues to be a leading venue in terms of its superior design and delicate techniques with complexity, even though this idea they created has been taken and these events are now held all over the Japan. Although there are only about 8,000 inhabitants, Inakadate brings a lot of tourists from home and abroad. It is next to Hirosaki which is famous for touristic spots and the the peak season for viewing rice paddy art is around the middle of August, which coincides with the Obon season when people return to their hometown. As well as this the Neputa festival is also held here. There are two main venues, one venue shows us more artistic designs like paintings or famous movies, while the other venue features more fun contents like animation for kids and families alike, so everyone can enjoy different arts in a different atmosphere.
This years’ highlights are “Roman Holiday” and “Tezuka Osamu Character.” They also created the stone art with the theme of !The Departed,” depitcting Princess Diana and Hibari Misora in their second display area using the same technique as rice paddy art. In addition, “Winter Rice Field Art” centered on the production and exhibition of “snow art” is held in winter, showing the “two annual crops.”

Michi-no-eki (rest area found along roads) Inakadate (Yayoi-no-sato)
The vast site of 7.5 ha. has the view of Mt. Iwaki, the fully glassed restaurant where you can enjoy the characteristic menu with the local ingredients, the specialty sales facility, the large play-ground, the archaeological cultural asset centre, exhibiting the data of the “Tareyanagi ruin” ( the relics of rice fields in the northernmost point in the Yayoi period) and the livestock barn. It is “an open space where you can enjoy yourself, feeling very relaxed”. From April to November, they have a free-market and “the 2nd rice field art” will take place between June and September. The events will be held seasonally.
Hirosaki Park (Hirosaki Castle)
The Hirosaki park next to Inakadatemura is the symbol of the Hisrosaki-city. It is a park of historical interest which has been retaining the flavour of the past on a large scale, starting with the castle tower of the “Hirosakijo castle” where the Tsugaru who ruled 100 thousand goku (enable to feed 100 thousand people) used to reside, the watch tower, the castle gate and the trench. In spring, the cherry blossom festival which is very much talked of as the best in Japan, takes place and 2600 cherry blossoms are in their full glory in the park. There is the autumn colour festival in autumn, the snow lantern festival with huge snow statues and many miniature Kamakura (featuring snow huts in which children play house) in winter and the Neputa festival which moves around the city is held in summer. It is the stage for those events throughout the 4 seasons.
Nakamachi-komise-dori (street)
In the Kuroishi-city next to Inakadatemura, the quaint atmospheric houses and the arcade streets in the feudal government period have been retained and they have been appointed as the “Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings”. The merchant’ residence, “the Takahashi” in the mid Edo period on the street is an over 270-year-old building, being appointed as a National Important Cultural Property. There are also the sake breweries with the traditional appearances, “Kikunoi” and “Tamadare”. The traditional local custom is to hung “Sakabayashi” (sugidama) (a large ball made of cedar branches that hangs outside the sake brewery), when the brewery starts pressing sake made from the new rice harvest. The rich-tasting local sake has been brewed by the skilful chief brewers thanks to the area blessed with the high quality water, the high grade rice, the severe winter climate and the pure air.

Association for Promotion of Inakadate Village Development


○First Tanbo Art Venue
Inakadate-mura Observatory
(Inakadate-mura Town Hall Observation platform)
123-1 Nakatsuji Inakadate Inakadate-mura Minamitsugaru-gun Aomori Prefecture
○Second Tanbo Art Venue
Michi-no-eki Inakadate Yayoi no Sato
(Yayoi no Sato Observation platform)
10 Yahata Takahi Inakadate-mura Minamitsugaru-gun, Aomori Prefecture