One day, about twenty years ago, Koichi Hanada received a request from his superior to bring in more visitors to their small town of Inakadate. After months of brainstorming, he came up with an idea. Since the town had to ocean, no mountains, and an excess of rice fields, he decided to go the way of the crop circles and make art with the rice for visitors to come and enjoy. Since there are several colors of rice stocks, it was easy to make pictures with a few different colors. However, the town didn’t want to make it easy, so each year the aim to top what they did in magnitude and detail. And this keeps the tourists coming back. Last year, more than 170,000 people came to see the rice fields, jamming the 8,450-resident town packed. Unfortunately, the visitors apparently don’t spend enough money in the town, though, because although they are getting thousands of tourists, their economy has not benefitted yet. But good luck to them, and keep up the good work!

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