Hamanoura Terraced Rice Fields - Video Introduction
This video, titled Hamanoura Rice Fields (浜野浦の棚田 [Hi-res/4K SAGA] Hamanoura Rice Fields), was uploaded by Saga Prefectural Tourism Federation (佐賀県観光連盟《公式》Saga Prefectural Tourism Federation).
In the video, you can see the sunset over the Genkai Sea and the Hamanoura Terraced Rice Fields dyed beautifully by the setting sun. The best time to see the spectacular scenery is when the rice fields are filled with water during April and early May.
During the daytime, the rice fields are lush with sparkling water, and atsunset, the rice fields change to a lovely shade of orange. As the time passes, you can enjoy a variety of breathtaking views. Be sure to check out the video to see the Hamanoura Terraced Rice Fields.
The Rice Fields of Japan
Rice fields, called "tanbo" (田んぼ) in Japanese, are a common sight in Japan, due to rice being the staple food. There are also many different rice fields that are known for their beautiful scenery. Whether it be the Shiroyone Senmaida Rice Fields in Chiba, or the famous rice fields of Aomori and Saitama known for their rice field art, each one has its own unique beauty.
When to Visit the Hamanoura Terraced Rice Fields + Sunset Views
Photo：The Hamanoura Terraced Rice Fields at sunset, Saga Prefecture
The Hamanoura Terraced Rice Fields are located in the northwestern part of the town of Genkai, in Saga Prefecture, in Japan's Kyushu Region, in the lower reaches of the Hamanoura River. Facing the Genkai Sea, the rice fields rise like stairsteps from the shore. The view of the sunset dying the rice fields orange as the surrounding greenery fades into darkness is truly spectacular.
The best time to view the sunset and the rice fields is from spring to early summer (April to May). At this time of year, the rice fields are flooded with water for planting. As the setting sun approaches the horizon, the surface of the terraced rice fields and the Genkai Sea reflect its orange glow like a mirror.
Where to Take Photos at the Hamanoura Terraced Rice Fields
Photo：The Hamanoura Terraced Rice observation deck
So then, where's the best place to take photos of the Hamanoura Terraced Rice Fields as they turn orange at sunset?
The best place to take photos is the observation deck nearby, which offers a panoramic view of the Hamanoura Terraced Rice Fields. It's well maintained so that visitors can relax and admire the scenery.
The Hamanoura Terraced Rice Fields are considered one of the best views in Japan. Around 5:00 pm, photographers begin to gather and prepare to capture the spectacular view. There are desks and benches so you can sit and wait until dusk.
The viewing platform, which is also a great spot for dates, there is a monument called the "Eternal Rock," and it's a popular place for couples to visit. You can take a photo together with the monument, the rice fields, and your significant other!
The viewing platform is accessible by bus from JR Karatsu Station, and is a 5-minute walk from the nearest bus stop.
Illuminations & Other Seasonal Events at the Hamanoura Terraced Rice Fields!
Photo：Fireworks at the Hamanoura Terraced Rice Fields
The Hamanoura Terraced Rice Fields are known for their spectacular sunsets, but here are some seasonal highlights to check out.
In early spring, around March, the rice fields are covered with rapeseed, turning the area into a beautiful carpet of yellow.
At the end of summer, around the time of the Bon Festival in August, the rice is harvested as the ears glow a beautiful gold color.
In autumn, the rice fields change to a lovely shade of red, and in mid-September, visitors can enjoy the bright red spider lilies, which is a different beauty from that of the setting sun.
In the cold winter, daffodils bloom and you can see the rice terraces covered with snow. In addition, from December, an illumination event using LED lights, "Musubu, Tsunagu Akari" (結ぶ繋ぐあかり), will be held. The terraced rice paddies are illuminated during the event, creating a fantastic scene.
A fireworks event is also held in May. It was unfortunately cancelled because of COVID-19, but was held as a surprise in 2022.
Things to do Near the Hamanoura Terraced Rice Fields!
Photo：Genkai Energy Park
There are various tourist attractions around the Hamanoura Terraced Rice Fields. For families, we recommend Genkai Energy Park, which has a large parking lot. In addition to a variety of playground equipment, there is a 13-meter-tall full-scale model of a nuclear reactor where visitors can learn about nuclear power plants. Genkaicho Next Generation Energy Park, Asupia also has unique playground equipment for children to enjoy.
After watching the beautiful sunset over the rice fields, you can relax at Genkai Kaijo Onsen PAREA, a hot spring facility with an open-air natural hot spring bath where you can enjoy the beautiful nature of Genkai. If you stay at a ryokan or hotel in Karatsu, you can also enjoy sampling the local cuisine.
If you're coming by car, you can also consider checking out Karatsu Castle and Karatsu Shrine, which are about a 30-minute drive from the Hamanoura Terraced Rice Fields, but definitely worth it.
Summary of the Hamanoura Terraced Rice Fields
The footpaths between the rice fields were built with stones from Japan's Warring States Period (~1467-1615 A.D.) to the Edo Period (1603-1868 A.D.). The spectacular view of the rice fields that have inherited this history and the nature of Genkai is well worth a visit!
The Hamanoura Terraced Rice Fields are one of the most spectacular views in Japan. It's sure to be a lasting memory of your trip to Saga. Be sure to bring a camera to capture the incredible scenery of Genkai, Saga.
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