Inaka Life: Rice Harvesting Time

It’s late September and it’s already starting to get a little chilly up here in the mountains, so it’s high time for rice to be harvested. The town I live in has two main crops: konnyaku and rice. In many larger areas in Japan, rice is harvested by using machines or large teams of workers. Here, everyone harvests their own paddy, sometimes helped by the neighbors. So as I drive to work everyday, I often see farmers of a wide variety of ages out working the paddies.

Here’s what the rice looks like right now – very yellow and weighed down with those tasty tasty grains. Before harvest time, the rice is bright green and upright.

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This is the traditional way of harvesting rice in the area. The rice is cut down with a sickle, tied in bundles, and hung over bamboo rods to dry out.

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The rice paddies around my apartment haven’t been harvested yet, so I hope to actually be able to see the process up close soon. When all the rice is finished, sometime next month, the town will hold a festival to celebrate another successful harvest.

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