No, it’s not cosplay in the countryside and it’s unrelated to Halloween, but yes, there’s something funky going on in the rice fields! Each autumn, some farming villages crank up their creativity and put on kakashi (scarecrow) displays in rice fields. Unlike the utilitarian North American scarecrows made of straw, flannel shirt and old blue jeans, Japanese scarecrows can be cute, scary, or just plain weird! Check out our guide below for a list of nearby festivals and don’t forget your camera!
Honjo Kakashi Matsuri – Scarecrow Festival
The annual scarecrow festival in Amagase, Hita City returns for the 12th time! Farmers in the area initially created scarecrows as a means of protecting their crop from sparrows. The tradition developed into an event where visitors are greeted by over 100 scarecrows, dotted throughout the fields and along the riverside. Each figure has its own unique expression and outfit, so make sure to check out the details up close.
・9/25 (Mon.) ~ 10/28 (Sat.)
・Along the Farm Road near Honjo area, Amagase-machi and Bogomori Kominkan riverside area
Trolley Train Festival & Kakashi Matsuri
Abandoned in 1988, the Kamiyamada Line Railroad is now the venue for the annual Torokko (trolley) train event in Yamada. The trolley car, decorated with paintings by local elementary school students, makes 1.5 kilometer round trips. From the train, passengers can see approximately one hundred scarecrows on display in freshly harvested rice fields. This year’s theme is “Farmers”. The scarecrows are so realistic that you’ll surely do a double take when you see them! Scarecrows are on display from early October and remain until the end of November. This year ten food trucks will also participate.
・10:00 ~ 15:00
・Trolley fares: ¥200 (adult), ¥100 (JHS)
・2142-1 Kumagahata, Kama, Fukuoka
・0948-52-0855 (Kama Chamber of Commerce)
Chosen as one of the “100 best farmscapes in Japan” and one of the “100 best terraced rice fields in Japan,” the rice terraces of the Eriyama area in Ogi, Saga, will surely impress you with their beauty and photogenic appeal. Red spider lilies or higanbana brighten the farm roads, attracting photography enthusiasts and tourists alike. This year is the festival’s 20th anniversary. The scarecrows range from images of well known characters to people in the news holding props made with great care and creativity. This year, eleven kakashi will be on display.
8th Kase Kakashi Matsuri
This scarecrow festival runs alongside the famous Saga International Balloon Festa, which attracts huge numbers of spectators from all over Japan and overseas. The event began as an alternative in case inclement weather prevented the balloons from flying. As many as 140 scarecrows made by locals will be on display. This year’s theme is “Let’s be connected”. If you’re going balloon watching, don’t forget to check out the scarecrows, too!
・10/30 (Mon.) ~ 11/5 (Sun.)
・Kase-gawa Bosai Station (north exit of JR Balloon Saga Sta., shuttle bus stop)
・Oaza Ogino, Saga, Kase-machi, Saga
・0952-26-5208 (Kase Community Centre)
NOTE: The information presented here was gathered and summarized by the Fukuoka Now staff. While we have done our best to check for accuracy, there might be errors and details may have changed. If you notice any errors or changes, please contact us. This report was updated in Sep. 2017.