Where I’m from, corn mazes are popular in the fall. Often elaborate images are cut into fields of corn and people enjoy finding their way through them. But the rice paddies of Inakadate, Japan put those corn fields to shame. These masterpieces remind me of a float in the rose parade.
The murals measure 15,000 square meters. Over a thousand local volunteers plant seven different varieties of rice to make these beautiful images.
This site explains the history of the murals. The town decided it might be a good way to boost tourism. (spoiler alert: it worked. Hundreds of thousands of visitors come every year.)
An enjoyable video (narrated by the town’s mayor) walks you through the complicated design and planting process and takes you down into the fields. The amount of effort required to design, plant, and plant the fields of colorful rice is astonishing. It’s fascinating to see how the designs changed from super-simple to elaborate as the years went by.