Case Studies

Kamiamakusa, Kumamoto Prefecture

Oitake Town Planning Committee

Interact with Locals and Enjoy the Rice Paddy Art Featured by Ukiyo-e This Year

  • Sights
  • Model courses

Hoping for reconstruction and support after the Kumamoto Earthquake hit in April, 2016, they came up with a design featuring “Ikkyu-san (a Japanese anime based on the historical Zen Buddhist monk Ikkyu) with his famous quote “rest, and move forward step by step” in the same year. In 2018 their design features the “dragon” with its status as a god like figure in the world of nature, along with the character for the word “light.” Last year, they changed the method of projecting the picture by using a large projector to shine on the field at night greatly improving the quality while making the work more efficient.
At the venue, they have installed the observation tower so that visitors can observe the rice paddy arts spreading out right below them. The peak season for viewing is from the end of July to the end of August with the backdrop of the majestic Amakusa Seaside Alps and its neighboring terraces from the hillside. Each season the venue also shows us various kinds of flowers depending on the season such as wisteria flowers and Higanbana Flowers (Lycoris radiata.) In September, they hold the event “Higanbana Walk and Autumn Delicacy Festival” which you can enjoy along with the rice paddy art, and in winter they hold “The Light Up Rice Paddy Art” when the rice paddy art is decorated with LED lights while keeping the design.
Furthermore, locals create flowers that won’t wither using PET bottles and funny scarecrows to guide visitors around the area to the best viewing spots. They have come up with many fun ways to help visitors enjoy their various scenic spots throughout the year.

1
Amakusa-gokyo (5 bridges) (Pearl Line)
On the way to the Amakusa archipelago from the Kumamoto prefecture, the national road which passes through the Amakusa-gokyo, such as “Tenmonkyo”, “Ohyanobashi”, “Nakanobashi”, “Maeshimabashi” and “Matsushimabashi” is called the Pearl Line. It compares the connected islands by the bridges to a necklace. The dotted islands and the bridges which connect them show the magnificent scenery and it is a refreshing driving experience, viewing the large and small islands and the bridges with various appearances as you drive. Between Nakanobashi and Matsushimabashi, you are inside the national park with the particularly beautiful landscape.
2
Sakitsu Church
In Amakusa-city, there is the “ Sakitsu community” which is in the “Hidden Christian related heritage in the “Nagasaki and Amakusa area” as a current world heritage site candidate. The fishing village scenery in the Sakitsu community has been selected as a National Important Cultural Landscape alongside the next-door Imatomi community and the Sakitsu church is located in the fishing village, overlooking the calm bay. The execution of the work was done by the master church craftsman, Yosuke Tetsukawa. It is stately Gothic-styled with white walls, but the interior is tatami-matted. The area of the altar at the front is the place where the strict Fumie (a plate with a crucifix to be trodden on in order to prove oneself a non-Christian) was carried on during the ban of Christianity period. It has been known as the area where the nationally outstanding Christian culture had prospered and also the historical sites as well as the facilities to convey the Christian history are dotted around in the various quarters of the city.
3
Amakusa Pearl Centre
In the site of the facility, about 1000 items are arranged, starting with the Akoya genuine pearl necklaces, the fresh-water pearl ones, earrings for pierced ears and brooches. The Christian data museum, the seafood cuisine restaurant, the building for souvenirs and the world’s first floating ship aquarium in the sea, the “Underwater Aquarium – Sea Doughnut” are all located here. When you move around in the Doughnut-styled aquarium, you’ll find that the inside is divided into each zone depicting the 7 continents and you can journey round the seas in the world, watching various fish. The program titled the “Night Aquarium” in which you can have a close contact with dolphins and the experience of a trainer has been held for a limited period. You can explore in the aquarium in the dark, shining a torch.

Oitake Town Planning Committee

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3655 Choragi, Matsushima town, Kamiamakusa, Kumamoto Prefecture