The rice harvest (Inakari) has just started here in Nozawa Onsen. Some of you may already know – rice farming here in the valley has a history that far outreaches the snow sports industry! In fact you could almost say it is the main way of life for most villagers here in town. Nagano and Niigata prefectures are said to produce the best quality rice – with all of that fresh water flowing down the mountain through our fields and the clean country air we have here – you can see why!
Traditionally, rice was planted and harvested by hand. It is then hung to dry and mature for a few weeks, before being removed from the grass and milled – turning it into the delicious white rice we still produce here in town.
Modern innovation has seen the rise of the combine harvester and planting techniques that no longer require this hands on approach. However some families here in town still do it the traditional way – it is said the taste and texture of the rice is more desirable having matured naturally outside. The verdict? You will have to come and try for yourself!