Paddy Field Art
They look like the Japanese equivalent of crop circles, though we know for sure these images were not created by aliens. The villagers of Inakadate, in Aomori prefecture, have been creating giant rice field murals since 1993.
They're not the only Japanese village to do this (Yonezawa in Yamagata prefecture does it too), but they're certainly the most acclaimed.
Every year, villagers descend on fields to plant different varieties of rice in carefully-planned patterns.
The murals are created by planting purple- and yellow-leaved rice species, alongside the usual green variety. As the plants grow, the images burst into life.
For the first nine years, the villagers worked on the same image of Mount Iwaki. Then, more recently, they grew more ambitious, creating everything from the Mona Lisa to a Sengoku-period warrior and a Hokusai tidal wave.
Like Navajo sand paintings, these works of art are not created to last. Come September, the fields are harvested as normal, taking all the intricate detail with them.
For more information, have a look at this great Japan Times article, and watch the video below. RM