The GIAHS-registered Senmaida known as Japan’s original landscape
Shiroyone Senmaida is known for its scenic beauty of rice paddies continuing up to the coastline with the Sea of Japan as the backdrop. Located at the foot of Mt. Koshu some 8km from the city of Wajima, it is built on a steep slope which ranges 50m in height and covers 1.2ha with each paddy averaging out with an area of 18㎡ for a total of 1,004 paddies. The small fields form a patchwork pattern, and the resulting scenery of terraces extending up to the ocean is epic. It is only at Shiroyone Senmaida where you can enjoy a taste of the changing landscape of sea and rice paddy via the footpaths among the fields.
The scenery with a history passed down over the generations and the ancient farming methods
Being acclaimed for its traditional farming methods reviving a land that had been lost in the throes of modernization, Shiroyone Senmaida, along with Sado Island, were registered as Japan’s first Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems in 2011. The landscape of “The Village Mountains and Seas of Noto” which includes Shiroyone Senmaida has been called Japan’s original landscape, with the rice paddies selected as one of Japan’s Top 100 Rice Paddies and nationally designated as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty. It has been believed that Shiroyone Senmaida began its history before the 16th century, and with the development of large-scale rice paddies due to wealthy farmers, these rice fields were created by the labor force of poor small farmers. The distinct footpaths among the paddies mean that cultivating machines cannot be used so farming by hand has been maintained as many times the labor used for flat land cultivation is used on the terraces. A simple yet beautiful farming village landscape remains unchanged over the generations.
The Senmaida decorated by illumination at the Senmaida Light-up
At the annual event of the Senmaida Light-up held between mid-October and mid-March, 21,000 LED lights are lit up in the rice fields at sunset to create an enjoyable and wondrous scene. In winter, the snow-covered terraced rice fields are even more lovely and popular. However, please don’t forget to take measures against the weather when you visit since the winter is bitterly cold.