Know rice, know life
The story of people who have lived harmoniously with nature for over 1300 years.

For over 2000 years, rice cultivation has been part of Japanese culture. The two are inseparably bound and rice fields are a common site in rural Japan. In Okuizumo, they are not only picturesque but are memory-evoking with a storied history. The terraced rice fields are the rebirth of the mountainside once heavily excavated to extract the precious iron sand. Iron-sand, along with charcoal were the main materials needed to produce Japanese swords and several types of agricultural tools and equipment for daily life.

Preserving Okuizumo
After harvesting the iron-sand rich mountains, the local people converted them to rice fields as a strategy for environmental conservation. The locals here have an unbreakable bond and rich connection to the lands. Their community spirt and love of one another meant that preserving the land for future generation was paramount. These rice fields are a testament to how humankind and nature can flourish in harmony.
Charcoal acquisition for iron manufacturing often accompanied mass-scale destruction of large forests. The local’s ancestors followed a conservation method where, after logging, they let the forests regrow for at least 30years. This incredible foresight preserved Okuizumo as a gem of nature that all can enjoy now.

Come and feel the true essence of Inaka
Each traveler’s experience to Okuizumo is unique and if you visit here, you’ll feel something you can’t get in any other place in Japan. Meet the local farmers and understand their way of life. See the culture of local residents and experience how the wisdom of previous generations is still alive and well. If you so wish, stay in a local farmer’s house to see rural Japanese life firsthand. Even try traditional soba making, cooking, and many more other activities. Come feel the blessings of nature with this tour full of history, culture and new knowledge.