To bring in the fall season, Hasami has the Onigitanada rice terrace festival. This festival has many unique events and experiences to take part in and enjoy. I went before the official opening day so the number of people was a lot fewer. Expect large crowds of people laughing and enjoying the various types of scarecrows on the day of the event.
Hasami townspeople and local farmers all take part in the making of these scarecrows. Every year, there can be in excess of 150 handmade scarecrows!
It takes a lot of time and effort in their creation, and the people of Hasami have so much joy in making their own and showing their friends, family, and visitors from all around the world.
This festival in Hasami has many events that you can take part in. Before the day of the festival, anyone can take part in the making of their very own scarecrow! An event is held every year in which people can come up with their own designs or ideas and start crafting away.
This event is very enjoyable as we can talk to the locals and have a unique experience. After everyone has created their scarecrow you will be able to sit down for an authentic Japanese lunch. This lunch is delicious and allows everyone to cool down after working hard on their scarecrows.
There is also an edamame (green soybeans) picking event. Here we can harvest some of the freshest edamame in Japan. This event is loved by kids as well as adults. Nothing will taste better than fresh edamame in the fall!
Onigitanada rice and miso soup are also very popular. The rice is special since it cannot be bought just anywhere, but on this day, you can have some of your own!
Once you are done seeing the scarecrows, take a scenic route around the terraced rice field. The great thing about the rice field is that there are many vantage points located around the perimeter.
The Higanbana is a flower in Japan that shows the coming of fall. All around Onigitanada rice field, these bright red flowers create a beautiful accent to the landscape. Seeing these flowers draw our attention even more to the shape and vibrancy of this location.
From the first vantage point along the rim of the rice field, we can see the crowd that has formed at the bottom of the mountain. During the day of the event, the road is not even visible, as the amount of people looking at the scarecrows is so large.
Coming to the top of the mountain allows everyone to take a break from the crowd and take in the quiet and natural landscape of one of the top 100 terraced rice fields in Japan. If you are taking a car here, the roads are narrow but will take you all the way around the rice field.
Here are a few of the scarecrows made by the locals and farmers. From the left we have Pico Taro, the middle is a Japanese samurai or someone dressed from the Edo period, and the right scarecrow is I guy enjoying a little too much sake!
Everyone puts in a lot of effort into making the scarecrows as realistic as possible. A lot of them are from popular dramas or comedians, as well as the artists own renditions.
The Onigitanada Rice Terrace Festival is located next to Nakaoyama which is a popular Japanese pottery town with over 400 years of history.
Expect a lot of people to be here on this day. Because of this, along with Hasami being in the countryside, parking is limited. There are a few places to park, but most of these spots get taken very early in the morning.
Instead, there is a free shuttle bus at Hasami Yakimono Park. There is a lot of parking available here also. Since the roads are congested and narrow leading up to the festival, this is my recommended solution.
The ride should only take around 10 minutes from Hasami Yakimono Park to Onigitanada. This is the safest way to reach your destination.
Date and Time
The event is held every year on September 23rd. The festival starts at 10:00 and ends at 15:00. If you are not able to come and see the scarecrows on the day of the event, do not worry because the scarecrows will be up until the 10th of October.