My son and I had the experience of Rice harvesting in a traditional way. It was hard work but fun! I’ll share our experience in this blog.
Instructions were given beforehand
It was cloudy on that day and it was the best day for the rice harvesting, because it’s still hot on a fine day at the beginning of October in Fukuoka prefecture.
Twenty-two people got gathered including 12 children and also 2 people from Israel on that day. Some of them have experienced rice harvesting and some of them haven’t. I had never ever used a sickle. But I didn’t need to worry. The detailed instructions of each process were given before starting our task. Because of that, even my 9-year-old son could do it.
Reap sticky rice plants
This is the rice field that we would reap.
Look at the color of rice plants! It’s gold! How beautiful! These are sticky rice plants. Sticky rice is the rice used for making mochi.
We have been reaping rice plants by the sickle for several hours, and we have been putting them on the ground one after another. It was hard work. Good job, my son!
As you can see, this is the work we’ve done! But this is only a half. There is still the other half of rice plants behind them, that we did in the afternoon.
Tie up reaped rice plants in sheaves
After reaping rice plants, we tied them up in sheaves with straws and let them dry.
I learned how to tie them up. The point is that you should tie them up in a proper strength because of the tightness loosen over time by drying them up. And it was the most difficult thing for me.
It was difficult at first but I was getting better as I have been doing it repeatedly.
Unfortunately, it was too difficult for my son. He tried his best. I’m proud of him!
Hanging and drying
After tying them up, I hang them up from a bamboo pole for drying. As you can see in the picture below, we hung them like this.
There is a right way to hang them up. First, before you hang them up, you need to divide them into one-third and two-thirds like the picture below.
Next, you hang a bunch of rice plants up from a bamboo pole one after another. One thing to note is that you have to make sure to hang its one-third and two-thirds back and forth alternately.
Had a good time spending in countryside
During working on rice harvesting, children were playing around the rice field. I thought that it was a nice feeling to see playing children in nature as we were chatting and working.
After that, my plan is to have a bonding with my son. It was to go and pour bottles cold spring water. The cold spring is so close to the place from where we were.
Reisen (cold spring) in Hata
Here is the Reisen (cold spring). People living there can pour the water freely, but the visitors need to pay ¥100 each time to maintain the environment of the cold spring.
The water is cold and tastes great! I usually use this water to make tea, coffee, and to cook rice. Unfortunately, my house is a bit far from here, so I can’t come so often. Thus I try to stop by here as much as possible whenever I come near.
Reisen in Hata
Address: 828-0005 708-2 Hata, Buzen-shi, Fukuoka