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The Stone Walled Rice Fields of Kettou (Kettou-no-Ishigakida)

On the north side of Kettou Hamlet are several layers of stone walled rice terraces which due to their beauty have been selected in the hundred top agricultural scenery of Japan. Also in 2022 the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries chose them as one of the sites for their Connecting rice terrace heritage to the future pride of the countryside campaign.
These stone walls use the fallen lava rocks (columnar joints) from Mount Torikabuto and Mount Naeba. Some of the highest walls reach a height of three meters and it is easy to imagine the hard labor that was required of the locals.
The reclamation of the land began in 1892, and as Akiyamago was a difficult place to grow rice it took the determination of the residents to construct the stone walled fields. Water from the mountains was drawn into irrigation, and now these terraces remain as a national asset.
The tracks around the fields are narrow and do not allow heavy machinery which makes farming difficult, and with the aging population in the hamlet, these days the number of fields left fallow is increasing. For this reason a preservation society has been established to promote cooperation between the residents and the government with the aim of conservation, as well as efforts towards agricultural experiences such as eco-tourism.
The road that passes through the middle of the rice terraces is a trekking course so anyone can experience the beauty and impressiveness of the stone walled fields up close. Also at the ridge where you find the scree at the bottom of the lava wall are wind holes dotted around where you can find alpine honeysuckle and other unusual plants.

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The Stone Walled Rice Fields of Kettou (Kettou-no-Ishigakida)

AddKettou, Tsunan-machi, Nakauonuma-gun, Niigata, 949-8316
No access over winter.

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