Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 11.25.35 AM

We saw absolutely gorgeous rice field art up in Aomori prefecture just a few months ago, but we’ve never seen rice that looked this cute! Shimane prefecture’s very own mascot character has been turned into a smiling rice field; you’re going to want to take a closer look at this one!

Shimanekko is the name of this darling little yellow kitty, a moniker incorporating the prefecture’s name and the Japanese word for cat, nekko. Here he is posing under the famous Kisuki cherry blossoms:

998103_600665876684169_370886126_nImage: Facebook (Shimanekko)

Nestled on Shimanekko’s head is the peaked roof of one of Japan’s most sacred grand shrines, Izumo Taisha, located in, you guessed it, Shimane prefecture. But despite the funny headgear, Shimanekko is absolutely adorable…

BvJKhFaCMAAsyduImage: Twitter (uco998)

10626492_689079281176161_8124556900824040772_nImage: Facebook (Shimanekko)

10615394_690050637745692_4922250600567627191_nImage: Facebook (Shimanekko)

BuHBnq1CQAE_9TKImage: Twitter (karmannseiko)

…no matter what form he takes on:

BvYcOiqCQAAcpjiImage: Twitter (@keiko_it)

BvYcOgyCAAAB7uPImage: Twitter (@keiko_it)

BufjZmvCEAA7Cx_Image: Twitter (keiko_it)

But if you want to see a truly unique version of Shimanekko, go on over to Izumo City and you’ll get a glimpse of Shimane’s mascot made out of rice plants. A friendly sign marks the location of the Shimanekko rice field:

10614141_689717474445675_4043408680187686293_nImage: Facebook (Shimanekko)

Approaching the field, you can tell there’s something special there…

10541859_689717451112344_7794959571613711743_nImage: Facebook (Shimanekko)

You’ll also notice a large structure built on the side…

10590397_689717437779012_1168445327854599362_nImage: Facebook (Shimanekko)

A short 3-meter (10-foot) climb will reveal the true colors of the field:

10402574_689717447779011_1012253931185052104_nImage: Facebook (Shimanekko)

And here’s an aerial shot for an even better view:

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 11.25.35 AMImage: Twitter (uco998)

This Shimanekko rice field is made with several different types of rice plants, giving it very distinct colors. Although we usually see green rice paddies in the summer that yield a warm yellow color as the grains ripen, the Shimanekko rice incorporates several different types of ancient rice, giving the mascot a yellow, black and green hue. But this Shimanekko isn’t quite finished yet; once the Izumo Shrine hat that dons Shimanekko’s head turns a beautiful red color around the end of August or beginning of September, the rice field art will be complete!

Hurry on over, this artwork won’t last forever! In fact, the edible arrangement will be harvested at the end of September, so you have until then to enjoy the happiest rice paddy in all of Japan.

Source: Facebook (Shimanekko)