There was no rice paddy art in 2020, but it is back in 2021. The rice planting event – the preparation for the art – has been scheduled to take place in the middle of June. Moreover the 2021 image has been decided – a beautiful depiction of some of the most famous symbols of Japan. The rice is planted in such a way that it grows into a beautiful image. Furthermore, the image changes each year. The 2021 image:
The rice field art at Kodai Hasu no Sato, Gyoda in Saitama is the largest rice paddy art display near Tokyo. You can see the display in August and September 2021.
Rice Paddy Art
The rice field art is back in 2021. Due to the pandemic there was none in 2020. The last, as per the featured image at the top of the post, was in 2019. It coincided with the rugby world cup. One of the stadiums used during the rugby world cup is nearby at Kumagaya Sports and Culture park.
The image usually starts to become clear in early August. However, by July 19th 2021 the image is already clear. The depiction is made from planted, not painted rice plants. It is absolutely incredible. The image is usually crystal clear for most of September. However, as the image became clear much earlier this year, it may also fade earlier. Normally, it starts to fade at the start of 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.
Before the rugby theme, in 2018 the theme of the rice paddy art was “Great Wings and Nazca lines”. In 2021 the theme is Japanese culture. Furthermore, this year it is part of an Edible Art project. Each year there is normally special events during the 2 month period the rice period art is visible / partially visible. However, they may not be able to go ahead due to the Coronavirus.
Over the years
You can see a summary of the images over the years in the collage I made below. Moreover, you can also see how the event has evolved over the years.
Rice paddy art in Gyoda is relatively new. The first display was just 13 years ago. It was very basic. However, 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 park:
Each year Kodai Hasu No Sato has winter illumination: Winter Illumination in Saitama, Gyoda City
Access Rice Paddy Art Gyoda
From the Saitama Prefectural Tourist website (the original webpage from which I took this quote no longer exists, so I have linked to the tourism website):
・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
Another interesting event in Gyoda City – Hanachozu week and night light up.