Japan’s Rice Paddy Art

Video: Japan’s Rice Paddy Art

Watch our video featuring exclusive coverage of Inakadate’s rice paddy art, which features footage from multiple tanbo artwork fields throughout the region!

Link to Video of Japan's Rice Paddy Tanbo Art in Inakadate


Japan’s Tantalizing Tanbo Art

Japan's stunning rice paddy art makes you feel like you're looking at a photograph, but in fact this tapestry is made of individual rice plants!
Be sure to visit all the different fields in the surrounding area!
Inakadate also features elaborate artwork made from painted rocks
Inakadate and some other parts of Japan.


Yearly: Late May — Early Oct
Great For
  • Photographers
  • Culture Vultures
  • Art lovers
Yes – available on-site


Japan’s Rice Field Art

Every year, between summer to autumn, as you travel through Japan, you can enjoy a seasonal special— rice paddy art (aka tanbo art)! Each year, new themes and images are planted, so there’s always a reason to keep going back. If we could travel across space and time without restrictions, we would love to return to the Star Wars field with C-3PO and R2-D2.

Tanbo art draws inspiration from Japanese to Western culture, attracting local and overseas tourists in the hundreds of thousands every year. That said, you won’t find crowds but will instead find zen as you gaze upon the breathtaking art that is meticulously planned/planted.

To appreciate tanbo art, you need to get a bird’s eye view of the rice field. In Inakadate, the birthplace of Tanbo art, you can get a ticket to each of the observation towers: The Inakadate Village Office and Michi-no-Eki Inakadate Yayoi-no-Sato.

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The nearest major international airports to Inakadate are in Tokyo: Narita (NRT) and Haneda (HND). Travelers can also fly into Kansai International Airport (KIX) near Osaka and Aomori (AOJ).

  • Cars: Renting a car and driving is the easiest way to see tanbo art. Toyota Rental Car has the best coverage throughout rural Japan, although prices tend to be higher. An international driving permit is required to rent a car in Japan.

  • Japan’s train and bus network is very extensive, and will bring you to a number of tanbo art locations.
  • If traveling by rail, consider purchasing a Japan Rail Pass. The JR Tohoku Pass represents an outstanding value for travelers interested in exploring the region around Inakadate.
  • The observation tower, Michi-no-Eki Inakadate Yayoi-no-Sato is a very short walk from Inakadate train station.
  • You can travel easily between the 2 observation towers in Inakadate using the free shuttle bus that runs regularly.


  • Hotels and AirBNB opportunities are aplenty in Japan, including the Tohoku region, which is home to Inakadate. We recommend staying in nearby Hirosaki.


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Inakadate, the origin of tanbo art, is a must-see for culture vultures!
Also consider Gyoda City, home of the largest rice paddy art!
Reborn Art
While visiting Tohoku, also consider visiting the Reborn Art Festival
Rail Pass
Consider purchasing a Japan Rail Pass, which offers excellent value when traveling by train
Winter Field Art
Visiting in winter? Be sure to check out Inakadate’s snow field art!
Nebuta Art
Also consider visiting the nearby Nebuta art throughout the north, including Hirosaki and Aomori


Japan’s Tanbo Art

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