The small town of Biei in central Hokkaido is situated in one of Japan’s most famous rural landscapes, a vast rolling plain of cultivated fields surrounded by mountains. Wheat and potatoes are the farmers’ main crops, but flowers are grown here too, the local horticulturalists laying colorful carpets that tumble in parallel into the distance. In the winter months of January and February, temperatures in Biei sink well below freezing and the land is blanketed in snow. Because the fields are private property, the only marks disturbing the pristine white scenery are those left by local wildlife such as deer, snow rabbits and Ezo red foxes. Small clusters of larch, poplars and oaks help define the undulating horizon.