My husband and I were amazed and lost words. We had never seen such a broad area covered with only silver pampas grasses. Last week, we went to Soni Highlands in Soni Village, Nara prefecture.
Several years ago, the villagers declared
their village is one of the most beautiful villages in Japan.
There is no fancy flower gardens, but the quiet world of silver grasses.
I felt as if the pampas grasses had absorbed any sound.
Once upon a time pampas grasses had been important materials to roof in this village. But the demands of them decreased rapidly. So, a plan to transplant Japanese cedar trees instead popped up, but the villagers could not afford to see the magnificent field of pampas grasses disappear, and they decided to leave the field. Nara Prefecture Government has helped preserve 40-hectare pampas field since then.
The ears of pampas grasses look like crystal beads shining against the sun.
They have brewed the local beer "Soni Beer" in German style.
We could not wait to drink beer before taking photos.
We enjoyed lunch tasting the beer which is amazingly light and mild!
we were so mesmerized that we badly wanted to see pampas grasses shining in dusk. But there was only one bus service a day commuting between Soni Highlands and the nearest station. We had to take 2:30 bus to the station. We decided to come back here again. On the way back home, we dropped in a travel agent and found a tour to Soni Highlands in dusk.
Too cloudy to see the sunset.
Yesterday we joined the tour, but unfortunately it was too cloudy to see the beautiful sunset. We imagined the pampas grasses against the setting sun glowing in gold!! It must have looked like Buddha's Pureland. It is said that gold rays emit from the body of Buddha. That's why the main hall of a temple, where the main object of worship is enshrined, is called the golden hall. We will come here again. It is the great rain check for next year!
Young autumn leaves near Soni Village.
If you are interested in pampas grasses, please look at my blog, "Song in praise of autumn" where there are photos of young pampas grasses shinning in reddish bronze.