You may or may not have seen images of large sculpted straw beasts, recently being shared all over the internet. Truth be told, they are not new, but are actually a few years old (from 2010 and 2011) from the annual Wara Straw Art festival in Niigata. According to CNN Travel, The Wara Art Matsuri takes place every year in two locations in Niigata, at Kanko Shisetsu Iwamuroya (96-1 Iwamuro Onsen, Nishikan-ku, Niigata) and Uwasekigata park (1 Matsunoo, Nishikan-ku, Niigata).
The festival is an annual celebration of Autumn where local people and college students of Art and Architecture departments create some impressive straw art in Nishikan-ku, an area is said to have the “largest paddy fields in the country,” according to Japan Style.
The art is created from rice straw by locals and college students. The structures are made from pipes and wood sticks, then the straw is added, taking about a week per piece to complete.