This year the viewing schedule of the rice paddy art in Gyoda is two weeks later than usual due to the hotter than normal weather this year. The image started becoming visible the second week in August. Normally, prime viewing is the month of August, but this year its most likely to be the end of August and early September. The image will start to fade at the start of October, but you will be able to see parts of it until about mid October.
You can view from the 50 meter observation tower of Kodai No Hasu between the hours of 9 am and 4.30 pm (last entry 4 pm). The cost to enter the tower is 400 yen for adults and 200 yen per child over 6 years of age. There is a small nature museum of the first floor which is included in the entry price. Parking and use of the neighboring park are free. The outdoor rest area is also free to use. There is an udon restaurant and “fried jelly” (not actual jelly, just the name) kiosk beside the entrance to the tower building.
The 2018 theme of the rice paddy art in Kodai No Hasu (Gyoda) is “Great Wings and Nazca lines”.
Due to the latter there is a “Peru Festival” (basically a tiny display of Peruvian items) running until October 10th. There will be special events within the 2 month period though. The great wings is depicted by a condor, the world’s biggest flying bird, one of the most renowned Nazca Lines. It is done in both Nazca Lines and full depiction. They also have a humming bird which is in the Nazca Lines form. And a lotus to represent the ancient lotus of Gyoda.
Rice paddy art in Gyoda is relatively new. The first display was just 10 years ago. It was very basic. The designs have become more elaborate and bigger over the years. And in 2015 the field was awarded the Guinness World Record for the largest work of rice field art (bottom row first picture on left on above collage). The art work, which uses 9 different types of rice for contrast, is over an approximate 27,000 square meters.
If you want to read more about how the rice paddy art is created I recommend this blog post (I have no affiliation to this site):
More about the tanbo art, ancient lotus and Kodai Hasu No Sato:
Rice Field Art and Ancient Lotus: Kodai Hasu No Sato | GYODA
Each year Kodai Hasu No Sato has winter illumination: Winter Illumination in Saitama, Gyoda City
More than 300 events in Saitama can be found on the event pages.
Access Rice Paddy Art Gyoda
From the Saitama Prefectural Tourist website
(map in the grey details box at the bottom of the post):
・From Gyoda Station on the JR Takasaki Line, take the City Loop Bus (Nishi Junkan Bus Counter Clockwise)
and get off at “Kodaihasu no Sato”
・80 minutes on foot from Fukiage Station on the JR Takaski Line
・30 minutes from Hanyu IC on the Tohoku Expressway
・40 minutes from Higashi-Matsuyama IC on the Kan-Etsu Expressway
・30 minutes from Okegawa Kitamoto IC on the Ken-O Expressway