Shiga Prefecture has some truly beautiful rice terraces.
Particularly famous examples include the Hata Rice Terraces in Takashima City, and the Oogi Rice Terraces in Otsu City. The Hata Rice Terraces have been selected among the 100 beautiful rice terraces of Japan, and have also been used for the filming of movies. A small settlement there of around 40 buildings maintains the terraces under harsh conditions, at a height between 300 and 400 meters and an incline of 10 degrees.
Incredibly enough, it is said that people started to live in this region more than 2,000 years ago, during the Jomon Period. In modern times, the advancing age of those living in the settlement has created issues with the maintenance of the terraces, leading to the introduction of a terrace owner system which enables exchanges with visitors from the cities through planting and harvesting experiences.
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