Let’s enjoy the rice field art of “Rikuo”, that holds a Guinness World Record, and the Oshi Castle in Gyoda!
My name is EKK, a sightseeing staff member who loves taking pictures.
■Recommended way of travel: rental bicycles
If you want to have a look around Gyoda, rental bicycles are the way to go.
To get to the JR Gyoda Station, you will need to travel about 1 hour on the Takasaki Line from the JR Ueno Station.
At the station’s East Exit, there is a tourist information center where you can borrow bicycles for free.
(There will be a fee if you want to borrow an electric bicycle.)
The process of renting bicycles requires a passport or other ID, so please be careful.
(Unfortunately it was raining when I went so I had to travel by car.)
■The best tanbo (rice field) art in the world
From Gyoda Station, it will take about 30 minutes by bicycle.
You can see the tanbo art from the observation deck of the Kodai Hasu no Sato building. (Adults are 400 yen)
The theme of this year’s tanbo art was the TV drama “Rikuo”,
a story about a tabi maker (Starring: Koji Yakusho, Kento Yamazaki, Takeuchi Ryoma),
and the rice field gods, “Inada Hime no Mikoto and Susano no Mikoto”.
Last year, there was a collaboration with the popular Japanese game, “Dragon Quest”.
Since the themes change every year, I am really looking forward to next year’s theme.
In 2015, the tando art in Gyoda won the Guinness World Record for the World’s Best Tanbo Art.
However, it was so big that you could not fit it into one picture.
Now let’s go to Oshi Castle. From Gyoda Station, it takes about 25 minutes by bicycle.
The Oshi Castle makes an appearance in every scene of the Rikuo drama.
You can see a performance of armored troops on weekends and national holidays at the castle.
(Commemorative photographs are offered)
Official site http://www.oshijo-omotenashi.com/
■Tabi (Japanese socks with split toe)
Outside the Oshi Castle is the city center where there are many former tabi manufacturing warehouses.
Tabi are a type of traditional Japanese footwear. It is said that about 80 years ago, Gyoda produced 80 percent of Japan’s tabi.
You can see an explanation of the history of Gyoda’s tabi at the Gyoda City Folk Museum inside Oshi Castle.
You can also buy tabi at every city’s tourist information center.
There are traditional tabi, but in this article are pictures of modern tabi that are popular among young Japanese people.
Please enjoy your Gyoda trip with stylish feet.