Every year Japan brings new creations to the coastal region as they show that you can make more with straw than just haybales.
The Wara Art Festival located in Niigita, features large sculptures made and designed from leftover rice-straw, which is known as “wara.” While the festival had to be placed on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has fully returned on time for the 13th anniversary. This year the amazing festival features a whole new collection of handmade creatures at placed at the Uwasekigata Park.
Among the large and impressive sculptures are an eagle, bear, walrus, and squid.
Several years ago this popular event started when the farmers of Nishikan Ward (formerly Iwamuro village) seemed out a way to dispose of unused straw from the rice harvest. This then led to a partnership with Musashino Art University which still thrives today.
Students from Musashino Art University designs each work of art which will be built from the straw. The crafters in Nishikan Ward then brings the beautiful designs to life using complex wooden structures and a multitude of straw.
This year's breathtaking sculptures will be on display Uwasekigata Park until the end of October.