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Overlooking the vast rural landscape of 1200h

Rural scattered village landscape

This is a dedicated contact point for tourism inquiries in Iide, providing information on tourism in Iide Town, Yamagata Prefecture.
We are also certified as a foreign partner tourist information center, so please feel free to contact us.

Album No.1

Spring/flood time

Album No.2

Summer/fresh green season

Album No.3

Winter/time of ink painting

About the landscape of scattered settlements

A landscape of scattered rural villages spread over 1,200 hectares in the former Toyohara district of Iide Town (currently Hagiu district and Naka district). The dense Yashikibayashi forest that surrounds the village is a way of life that protects houses from the northwest winds that are often felt during the winter. This landscape is the prototype of an eco-friendly house, with coniferous trees that do not drop their leaves on the west side and deciduous trees that shed their leaves on the south side, keeping the house warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

This mansion forest has been used for many purposes in rural life, such as cutting off the branches and using it as fuel in a process known as ``kagekiri,'' or using it as a ``rice hanger'' for hanging bundles of rice harvested in the fall. This has been inherited to the present day and has formed the beautiful landscape of today.

In 1993, it received the highest award, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Award, at the 1st Japan Beautiful Village Landscape Contest. Please take a look at the assets that we are proud of and that we would like to leave behind for future generations.

​About the observation deck

There are two observation decks for the scattered villages: the Hotokeyama Observation Deck, which offers a wide-angle view, and the Lily Garden Observation Deck, which can be climbed from the grounds of Dondendaira Lily Garden by private car. ``Hotokeyama Observation Deck'' is equipped with a private parking lot, and you can get a panoramic view of Okitama in about 10 minutes on foot.

In addition, the Yurien Observation Deck allows you to drive directly to the evacuation area (parking is available) near the observation deck by private car, so it is a particularly recommended observation deck for those who want to casually take a look at the scattered settlements.

*The Lily Garden Observation Deck requires access to the grounds of the Dondendaira Lily Garden, so the Lily Garden is closed during the paid opening period of the Dondendaira Lily Garden (from the second Saturday in June to the third Sunday in July). Please give us a call at the office.

*``Hotokeyama Observation Deck'' requires a 10-minute walk (on a special mountain trail), so if you have difficulty walking or are not confident in your physical strength, we recommend ``Yurien Observation Deck''.

*When visiting Hotokeyama ObservatoryPrivate parking lotplease use.
*Lily Garden Observation DeckSummit shelterPlease park in the parking lot.

​ *Please refrain from riding off-road bikes, snowmobiles, etc. to the observation deck during the winter.

*Littering of cigarette butts and empty cans is strictly prohibited.
*Please cooperate in taking your trash home.

About the best time to see

[Spring / Small island floating in the lake] Early June

Full-scale rice planting begins in the fields of Hiraba in late May, when the submerged forests of Lake Shirakawa have reached their peak. The small island floating in the lake is reflected in the countryside like an upside-down painting, creating a truly magical landscape. The sunrise is especially recommended.

[Summer/Pure blue carpet] Late July

July to early August, when the rice becomes green. It is also the time when the deep green carpet of 1200 hours gives you the best feeling of the vast countryside.

[Autumn, ears of rice swaying in the wind] Early September

This is the time of year when the ears of rice are waving as they are about to be harvested. A faint autumn scent. Our staff's favorite season is autumn, when the landscape of rural villages is scattered.

[Winter/Like an ink painting] Early February

The painting that is least seen in public is the landscape of a scattered village in winter. The monochrome black and white looks like an ink painting. This strength overwhelms those who see it and overlaps with the Iitoyo people who have overcome many harsh winters.

​ *Cars are not allowed in the winter period (November to March).

​Morning at Satsukita/Mr. Toru Saito

Access to the Hotokeyama scattered village observation deck

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