Experience Rice Harvesting In Tono, Iwate

Fall is a special season for food and drink lovers. Just like the cherry blossom festivals that take place in the spring, there are many events related to rice harvesting in the fall, like the brewing of new Japanese Sake.

I visited Tono, the village of folklore, at end of September. Mountains are green and slightly coloured, the sky is blue and the rice paddy is yellow, which means that it is ready for harvest. I chose to stay at a farmhouse, not a hotel or a lodge. This is because I wanted to experience rice harvesting with my friends and the farmer’s family.

Experiencing rice harvesting is fun! I woke up at around 5 am and heard noises from the kitchen. I thought that grandma and the mother had already started eating breakfast. I left my futon and folded the futon and sheets on the tatami the way grandma instructed me last night. I said “good morning” to grandma, and she said “ohayou-gizaimasu”. When she was talking to me, I found many onigiris (rice balls) on the table. She explained to me that these onigiris were for the people from the village that were helping with the rice harvesting. She gave me 2 onigiris for breakfast. I helped wrap the rest for the heplers.

At 8 am we left the house to go to the rice paddy. After 10 minutes, the farm was full of helpers. The harvesting knife and rubber boots were handed out. The father thanked us for helping and instructed us on how to harvest rice. Please find the photos below, and see how much we enjoyed this experience.

Come and visit Tono to experience this !

5 beginner ready to harvest !

We wear casual cloth, and rubber boots(free rental). So exciting to start !

Hard to use sickle at beginning

Watch out sickle is so sharp.

Rubber boots stuck in muddy.

I left my foot print on muddy.

Cut, Cut, Cut Working Hard!

I like rice harvest !

Tie up rice-plants in sheaves

Cut too much hard to bundle.

Tie up rice-plants in sheaves

Bundling material itself is last-year dried rice straw

Hung rice to drying bar

Dry fresh rice to storage moisture level.

We did good !

It's a fun !

Intermission tasting local sweets and hot green tea

Sitting on the bank, looking beautiful countryside view.