Okayama Korakuen Garden is located at the center of Okayama ...
Mid-June usually marks the beginning of rice planting season in Okayama. The weather is getting wetter and all that rain provides ideal conditions for rice paddies. You’ll see hundreds of families across the region planting soccer field lengths of rice, often using machines or doing it the old fashioned way.
Yuki Sakamoto, a leader of the volunteer group VOLT (Volunteering in Okayama’s Local Towns) invited us to his family’s rice paddies in order to experience an authentic Japanese tradition.
Despite the warm weather, the water kept our bodies relatively cool and it felt great to be active outside. We will return to the rice paddies in October to harvest the golden fields of rice.
A fun fact that I learned that day was that many farmers and families who harvest rice do not make profit from their hard work. These rice planters are simply continuing a family tradition. Rice paddies also lose their fertile quality if they are not annually used (apparently).
For more information about upcoming events throughout Okayama prefecture, please follow the link below to VOLT’s Facebook page. Many of the events are free or in the least very affordable.