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Terraces to Heaven

One of Japan's 100 beautiful farming villages in Ehime

In December 2011, I visited the terraced village which faces the sea of Uwajima in Ehime prefecture.

The terraced village of Mizuga-ura in Uwajima City is not well-known, but the view of terraced fields going up to the sky as though they can reach heaven, with the beautiful sea of Uwa in the background, is a sight to behold. Naturally, this village is designated as one of the 100 beautiful farming villages in Japan.

There is a story behind the name of the village, Mizuga-ura (Water Inlet.) In olden days, villagers suffered from the lack of water here. Every time local women who had left a village to marry in different villages came back to visit, they had to carry water to their hometown to help the predicament caused by the lack of water.

This beautiful landscape created by terraced fields is the result of the villagers' effort and creativity in effectively utilizing their steep, water deficient land.

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