Yesterday, I visited Shiokawa Sake Brewery. As I didn't have any appointments today, I made myself at home and took a walk around the paddy fields around my house.
The rice plants were getting yellowish as they were about to welcome the harvesting season. The reflection of the sunny sky on the brook was making a good atmosphere of rural landscape.
I found a slight change in the atmosphere of the paddy fields, which I had thought would not change each year. The paddy fields is disappearing clearly. I don't know whether it happened this year, or whether it was happening gradually for years, though.
There's no rice plants in one square of the paddy fields at the center of the photo above. I found several squares which only has weeds or nothing.
I found some squares of farms which used to be paddy fields. Most of them are of green soybeans. Former Kurosaki Town is famous for Kurosaki Soybeans, one of the most popular soybean brands. Yellowish green paddy fields were changed into the dark green farms, probably because soybeans sell well in the market.
I thought that soybean farms are better than waste land, but I also thought that soybean farms are not better in value as a landscape than paddy fields.
It is the landscapes of paddy fields which have created a lot of beautiful photos of Japan, where winding ears of rice are waving in the wind in the sea of golden paddy fields.
It was the last day of my stay in Niigata Prefecture when I sadly thought that I cannot demand the beauty of landscape from soybean farms.