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Yamakoshi Rice Terraces

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Yamakoshi Rice Terraces


Immerse yourself in a uniquely Japanese landscape of terraced rice paddies and ponds

Niigata Prefectural Tourism Association



Yamakoshi in Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture, is a mountainous area as beautiful as a miniature garden. Here, you can see a magnificent view of terraced rice paddies and terraced ponds where brightly colored carps swim. Rows of traditional houses match the surrounding greenery, the fresh water gushing from the forest, and the blue sky, creating an idyllic rural landscape.

Known as tanada (“rice terraces”), terraced rice paddies are made in a staircase pattern on a mountain slope. The present landscape of Yamakoshi is the fruit of the hard work and ingeuity of the previous generations of farmers who cultivated limited mountainous land, secured water sources, and carried all the tools, fertilizers, and harvested rice on their backs. 



Yamakoshi is also the birthplace of Nishikigoi carps, ornamental fish called “swimming jewels” because of their beauty. About 200 years ago, a carp with a slight red pattern was found among the carps raised for food in the terraced ponds. Through trial and error, villagers continued to breed it, until they created the present appearance. Today, there are about 100 varieties of Nishikigoi carps, and they are very popular all over the world. 

In May, after the rice planting season, Nishikigoi are released into the terraced ponds. They will be pulled up in autumn and raised in an indoor pond during the winter. The terraced rice paddies are especially beautiful during this time of the year. Why don't you visit Yamakoshi and immerse yourself in the original scenery of Japan?



How to get there


From Narita Airport, take the Keisei Skyliner to Asakusa Station (about 1 hour), then walk 3-5 minutes to Tsugu Tsugu Asakusa Studio.


Orataru Information center
2835 Takezawako, Yamakoshi, Nagaoka-shi, Niigata-ken



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