The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Sunday, 1 October 2006

Rice Harvesting at Senmaida

As the weather cools down and the season rolls to autumn, rice paddies are being harvested everywhere (and poor Rob suffers bad hayfever on some days). My supervisor is a committee member of a workers' union group for the Senmaida rice paddies in Wajima (we'd visited the "thousand rice paddies" previously), and invited myself and friends for a chance to experience harvesting rice by hand. I think that Senmaida is a council-owned land (as it is also a tourist spot), so working the fields are done by volunteers.

The city of Wajima also holds a double traditional Japanese wedding in the fields every year at the same time as the harvest day for tourists and locals to watch. It was interesting to see the traditional wedding garb, and how it's done but the ceremony was pretty ritualistic and went on probably a bit too long (1hr).

Traditional Japanese wedding ceremony:

Rice harvesting by hand is a pretty labour intensive job. There are four main tasks: harvesting the grass, tying them up in bundles (there is a special way to tie because it has to be secure enough for the drying process (which my supervisor said he was not confident doing)), carrying the bundles up to the drying racks, putting the grass bundles up to dry.

Rob harvesting with a sickle:

The drying rack:

Alex harvesting:

Harvested rice grass:

Being next to the sea, the scenery was beautiful:

The volunteers were then treated to a BBQ lunch, also prepared by volunteers:


  1. :)
    jean! i can see u r the photographer in almost all the pics! we hardly get to see u :)

  2. Re: :)
    Haha, well, it is my camera, and I love taking the photos! My place is behind the camera, not in front of it..