NIIGATA, Oct. 3 — Autumn is in full swing in the city of Tokamachi in Niigata Prefecture in northwestern Japan, the season when a sea of clouds is most likely to appear as the temperature difference between daytime and night is large.
The rice terraces of Hoshitoge in the city which face east offer a fantastical scenery of the rising sun over the sea of clouds, attracting tourists from home and abroad.
The Hoshitoge paddies represent the tiered rice fields in the prefecture’s Echigotsumari region made up of Tokamachi and the town of Tsunan. They are called tensuiden, meaning rainfed paddy fields.
Roughly 200 rice paddies stretch out on mountain slopes of around 30 hectares located at an altitude of 300 to 400 meters.
According to the city’s tourism association, the probability of the sea of clouds occurring rises in June, September and October when there is a big difference in temperature between day and night.
On Sept. 24, some 10 foreign tourists were enjoying the spectacular view of the sea of clouds.